Beef prices soar as cattle herds dwindle
Grocery stores and fast-food chains worry that costs will keep climbing.
The beef is disappearing.
Americans are eating less beef, and the size of the cattle herd has fallen to its smallest since 1952. Beef prices are rising, and fast-food chains and other companies are worried about increasing materials costs.
Beef consumption has fallen for six years straight, Bloomberg reports. There are a number of reasons, including the "pink slime" controversy over treated meat. Americans are also more concerned about their health. And beef has become very expensive -- ground beef hit an average of $3.02 a pound in March, the highest since 1984.
The Livestock Marketing Information Center predicts record beef prices this year, Bloomberg reports. We could see those higher costs at stores and at restaurants.
The main reason beef prices are climbing is that there are fewer cows -- only 90.77 million head at the beginning of this year, a decline of 2.1% from the year before, Bloomberg reports. Drought across America has forced farmers to keep herds low.
Don't expect many changes, either. The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts beef stocks to decline further in 2013, though beef imports may rise slightly to help meet the shortage.
These higher prices are weighing heavily on the minds of executives at fast-food companies and grocery stores. Costco (COST) said it's dealing with rising beef prices this year, Bloomberg reports. Wendy's (WEN) and McDonald's (MCD) are feeling the pain as well.
The result? America will continue to move away from beef to pork, chicken and other options. Prices are simply getting too high. A juicy steak will become an indulgence, a treat that we can't afford too often. Tofu, anyone?
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We as a society are better off without red meat on our plate. People will scream, "It is my God given right to eat red meat!". lol Wake up and smell the coffee. There are much better proteins out there. You do not have to eat beef to be healthy. Shouldn't the goal be healthy? Look at how much money we spend every year curing the obese, treating what they bring upon themselves because of poor eating habits and poor upbringing. We cannot educate the current mob so we (government) need to dictate what they can and cannot eat because the current mob of humans us too stupid to save itself from itself. Image if entitlement was cut off? How long until that mob perishes? It would literally eat itself. lol sorry........how many mad cows do you think they really find? What are they hiding about red meat?
What a total BS story. Prices are going up because it costs more to raise cattle than before, plain and simple.
For those that wonder why you can't just breed the cows to make more cows. Well, you can, but if I breed a cow today, it will be 9 months before she drops a calf. "Normally" a calf weans from its momma at about 6 months old hopefully at about 500 to 700 lbs. Yes, some take a calf from the momma sooner, but the point is you are at 15 months already and the "new" cow is still not ready for slaughter for a few months yet when it gets closer to 1000 pounds. Hopefully, you can have a steer (castrated male) ready for slaughter at about a year old.
Also, since there is a cow shortage we will not send all the heifer calves ( females) to slaughter, we will keep them and breed them at about 15 to 18 months old so that they drop their first calf at about 2 years old or older.
So as you can see even if I bred a cow today her calf would not be ready to breed or slaughter for almost 2 years, roughly .
I just want to add that the beef is ranged on BLM land for practically NOTHING!!
The BLM is erradicating wild horse herds so the cattlmen can use that land to graze their cattle and our Tax dollars pay for it all! Now those same Cattlemen want to raise prices. I'll raise my own TY and not havt to worry about hormones and all kinds of other crap too.
What the heck? When demand goes down the price goes up? Are we fools? You know its another ploy by the 1% to screw over the 99% little sheep. What ever happen to regulating greed? Like we did in the 1950's to the mid 1980's. What ever happen to policies that fairly spread the wealth? Why is it that the Congress is in bed with the top 1% while our country is like a ship that it sinking? This article reminds me of oil prices: warn the little sheep that prices are going up (for bogus reason upon bogus reason); and the little sheep dutifuly pay for it without screaming raising their voices. Time for a significant structural change in our country. The 99% need to regain control.
There may be less cattle, but there is no shortage of cow crap!
You can't beat my meat? Can you?
This article is B.S. Just another tactic to increase prices. Most likely selling beef to foreign countries.
After decades of American beef being shot full of hormones and antibiotics and being contamnated with E.coli and other microbes, I have stopped buying beef. Chicken and pork are no better. I'll buy organic beef maybe once every 3 or 4 months when economy permits. Otherwise it's beans, potatoes and veggies.
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