AUSTIN (KXAN) — Have you taken a look at beef prices lately? Prices continue to rise during the pandemic and are up year-over-year from 2020.
“The demand for beef at grocery stores has been extremely good,” said Dr. David Anderson, AgriLife Extension economist with Texas A&M. In fact, retail demand for beef in 2020 was the highest it’s been in 20 years.
Beef prices are typically higher in the spring, but this year, demand and prices are trending up even ahead of “grilling season,” which unofficially kicks off on Memorial Day weekend.
“But higher prices also kick in from a demand standpoint because we are almost to Memorial Day,” Anderson said. “You know, I think for a lot of us are itching to get outside again. This is getting pretty close.”
More than half of all Americans are at least partially vaccinated, including 45% of all Texans. Statewide, more than 6.5 million Texans are fully vaccinated. With more people getting vaccinated and venturing out, the demand for beef is continuing to rise Anderson said.
“We had an average all-fresh beef price of $6.39 a pound, and that all-fresh beef is across prime, choice, select and all the different cuts from ground beef to sirloin to ribeyes, so everything you see at the store,” Anderson said. “We averaged about $6.39 in March, we averaged $5.96 per pound last March.”
But Anderson says don’t worry, there is no beef shortage.
“So when prices are really low, ranchers have to start cutting their herds from a profitability standpoint and we have been cutting our herds,” Anderson said. “So, I think when we get into late this year and next year we are going to see less beef production, and because of that, some higher beef prices.”