Beef has risen in price 17.6% in the last year in the United States: why it is so expensive

For months meat prices have skyrocketed, so far the rise has not been stopped

Photo: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that food is more expensive, largely due to rising beef prices. Last year, the consumer price index for food increased 0.9%, while the index for beef increased 17.6%

The rises in meat costs have a reason for being, according to Michael Swanson, chief agriculture economist at Wells Fargo, told Quartz that in the context of the pandemic, the outbreaks of Covid-19 forced shutting down meat packing facilities, reducing production.

In addition to this, the increases have to do with the shortage of workers, which means that production cannot be reactivated. In this sense, there is a lack of employees who are dedicated to processing meat, but there are also a shortage of truck operators, so the meat does not reach the retail stores.

These circumstances represent a real challenge for the supply chain, as the increase in freight rates, this factor is also affecting meat production along with the global economy in general.

On the other hand, the increase in corn and soy prices make livestock feed more expensive and this situation also influences the increase in beef prices.

According to experts, this inflationary phenomenon of meat has to do with other chains involved so that consumers can have it in their refrigerator, therefore the hikes do not occur for a single reason and have a generalized impact.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Justice said they are investigating whether the big four meatpacking companies, Tyson Foods, JBS, National Beef and Cargill, which collectively control 85% of the beef market, are setting or manipulating prices.

Meanwhile, The Meat Institute, a trade organization, reported that the Biden administration is wrong about the concentration in the meat and poultry industry that causes prices to rise and instead, puts rising prices on labor shortages which is slowing down production and making products scarce.

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