What is causing meat prices to rise?

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Are you paying more money for your meat?

If so, you’re not alone.

David Samiljan owns Barons Quality Meats and Seafood, and he says prices from his suppliers have increased since March.

The biggest price increase has been in Tenderloin, it’s up 27%.

“We’ve seen a significant increase in brisket prices and in bistro cuts, skirt steaks and flank steaks, those are up double digits.”

He says most of those cuts are seasonal increases, and he’s trying his best not to pass that on to his customers.

“We’ve seen a little fluctuation, sometimes we make a little more money sometime sa little less but for the most part we keep things consistent.”

That doesn’t seem to be the case everywhere though…

Consider a four-pound cut of beef steak from a Bay Area Costco. Buyers can usually find the same cut for about 30 dollars, but this week it was selling for nearly $80.

“Beef prices have bene relatively cheap for a while, and now they’re not at all.”

Professor of Agricultural Economics at UC Davis Daniel Sumner says the seasonal increases will always come and go, but this year most of the increase you’re paying for has to do with the cost and demand for corn and soybeans.

“Its supply and demand fundamentals in a worldwide basis.”

“Underlying is the price of corn and soybeans. What does a steer eat? Corn and soybeans. What does a pig eat? Corn and soybeans. And those crops have gotten more expensive in part because of demand from China. They don’t produce a lot of that in China, they’re willing to pay for it so there they go. So that demand you and I see is when we go to the Costco or other super market.”

Professor Sumner also points to slower production lines at meatpacking plants following the pandemic, but he’s confident prices will moderate soon.

“Within a month or two, we’ll see some moderation “I’m thinking.”

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