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Beef prices soar due to drought, forest fire and inflation

Beef prices soar due to drought, forest fire and inflation

Posted May. 30, 2022 08:06,   

Updated May. 30, 2022 08:06


There are signs that the prices of beef steak and hamburger that Americans frequently eat will surge due to drought, forest fire and inflation, The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday. As cow feed prices have soared, livestock farmers have sold cattle en masse because of hefty cow feed costs, resulting in a steep decline in overall cow population. “Consumers are going after more affordable pork and chicken meat instead,” The Wall Street Journal reported.

According to the journal, U.S. cattle farmers are rapidly selling cattle they have been breeding in recent weeks. Pastures have dried up due to constant drought and forest fires in the Westside, making the situation from bad to worse. Lack of pasture should be compensated by cattle feed, but feed prices have also surged due to inflation and supply chain disruptions. Jenny Alderson, a fourth-generation cattle rancher in Virginia, recently sold 75 of the 250 cows in stock. “Many cattle farm owners have been hugely indebted, and people will start going bankrupt within several years,” Alderson said.

The U.S. Agriculture Department said it forests beef production will decline 7 percent next year from this year, while beef prices will hit all-time high. Retail prices of U.S. ground beef jumped about 14 percent last month from the same period last year. American livestock industry predicts that large meat processing companies including JBS that have enjoyed business boom in the past two years will also face the ramifications of soaring costs.

With beef prices surging, American consumers started searching for alternative foods. “People are flocking to other more affordable meats or frozen foods,” The Wall Street Journal said. In the long-term, the situation will lead to a decline in overall beef sale, adding to the hardship facing cattle farmers.

Eun-Taek Lee nabi@donga.com