What Causes Price Fluctuations for Beef?

If you love a good steak, you’ve probably been wondering why the price of beef tends to vary so wildly from month to month. Some days you can get a great steak for a reasonable price, while other times it’s a challenge to get even some halfway decent ground beef without breaking the bank. In turn, these costs are passed on to restaurants and other food providers, making their prices go up, too.

So, what’s behind the beef price fluctuations in Seymour, WI? Here are some factors:

  • COVID-19: As you might imagine, COVID-19 has disrupted the farming and meat production industries just as much as it has interfered with every other aspect of life. Not only are meatpacking plants coronavirus hotspots (thanks to their lack of ability to socially distance), causing shutdowns, but the pandemic has changed the way Americans buy meat. Typically, the food service sector would be consuming a large portion of beef supplies, but as Americans have opted to stay and cook at home, the beef industry is feeling the pinch.
  • Droughts: Droughts can drive the cost of beef up, thanks to feed costs and other water-related issues. Depending on where your beef supply comes from, the weather can have a very real economic impact on how much your porterhouse costs.
  • Costs of fertilizer and production: In addition to water supply and the effect of droughts, fertilizer and production methods also contribute to prices going up and down.
  • Slaughter rate: The slaughter rate at meat packing facilities is part of supply and demand—if they’re not able to keep up with demand, prices will naturally rise.
  • Demand: As always, the economic concept of supply and demand drives beef prices. If everyone in the country wants burgers for their Independence Day cookout, but the supply is lower than normal, prices will go up. Conversely, if there’s a plentiful supply of beef but no one’s buying it, prices will drop to clear out the old supply and make way for the new.
  • Other abnormal events: Finally, when you’re trying to figure out why steak is more expensive than usual, think about other abnormal events you’ve seen in the news. From hurricanes to fires at meat production facilities, prices will change based on how much stock is available and whether companies can keep up with the typical demand. When that demand changes, the industry has to scramble to keep up.

For many American families, beef is a delicious and affordable luxury—especially now in the pandemic era. Others may opt to consume other meats for cost and health reasons, at least until the pandemic passes and things slowly return to normal. One thing is for certain, however: the cost of meat is rarely determined individually. A whole host of global and environmental factors are key in determining beef prices for Seymour, WI and the entire nation.

If you find yourself with a craving for steak, the Hotel Seymour Supperclub offers many fine dining staples. Call today to make a reservation!

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