As meatpacking plants’ production stalls, the price of beef goes up

As America’s restaurants begin to reopen at full capacity, there will be countless celebratory steak dinners—and inevitably, those beefy meals are going to cost more. There’s certainly no domestic cattle shortage with growing herds nationwide (“Beef is so strong right now,” market analysts told Bloomberg). But there are fewer meatpackers working these days, and mega companies like Arkansas-based Tyson Foods are reaping the rewards (its shares’ value increased 23 percent since the beginning of 2021, though its poultry prospects—not so good, as we note below). The wealth isn’t necessarily spreading to farmers, who are facing higher feed prices as China expands its farming operations. But while grain prices may affect the cattle glut in the long term, there are plenty of burgers to go around for now.

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