Cattle prices at record highs

Smallest herds in more than 60 years expected to drive beef and pork prices even higher. 

“This year cattle prices have moved up to record highs on both sides of the border and it’s starting to impact meat prices at the grocery store,” says Scotiabank’s senior commodities expert and vice-president of economics, Patricia Mohr.

Rising meat prices in the U.S. are already beginning to affect American consumers. according to the Wall Street Journal.

“Current costs for beef are higher than I’ve ever seen in my 41 years at Wegmans,” writes Mary Ellen Burris, vice-president of the U.S. grocery chain. “Our meat experts tell me the current inventory of cattle in this country is the smallest in over 60+ years!”

High meat prices are essentially a question of supply and demand. The global appetite for meat continues to grow as the middle class in developing countries grows richer.

At the same time, high feed costs in the past several years and persistent drought in the U.S. have driven farmers to cull herds in traditional cattle country, including Texas.

What about pork?

Pork prices hit a record this summer when Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea decimated U.S. herds, says industry analyst Kevin Grier. The disease swept through 27 states killing virtually 100 per cent of piglets under two weeks old, pushing pork prices to new records.

Interestingly, there is no mention of the 100,000 head of cattle wiped out in South Dakota last October by an early-season record-breaking blizzard.

Thanks to Lynn Garnet for this link

See also:
Beef prices up 17% in Canada
Prices for some cuts, such as brisket, up by 65 percent.

Bacon packages shrink as pork prices soar
Four fewer slices of bacon per package.

8 thoughts on “Cattle prices at record highs

  1. Think about this. Most people reading this make nothing. They are just service providers be it government or business sectors. The service you provide means squat to those doing real work.

    Truth is boys and girls, U.S. is a service economy and makes almost nothing! The dollars you have in your wallet are worth less and less. All those people making cheaper goods you all flood stores to get your eager hands on during Black Friday, are actually making things.

    Most of the increase can be traced to inflation and increasing regulations.

    Today’s dollar is worth 70% of a dollar in 2000.

    And, let’s not forget climbing taxes, insurance and energy bill meat producers are being hit with. Gasoline has gone up and trucking fees too from all those lovely new trucker regulations driving costs up and up.

  2. My nephew figures he’ll get about $1,500.00 per head for his steer calves, but then a tractor tire that cost $800 a couple years ago, is now $1,100.00. A new swather like he bought several years ago for $45,000, is now $110,000. His big combine has more weld on it than you could imagine; it’s a rolling piece of junk, but he’d have to sell the ranch to buy a new one. Hopefully, he’ll die broke and owe no one a nickel. Fiddlin

  3. I thought beef was one of the exports to Russia that we no longer are allowed to ship, and the same for Canada. Strange how that doesn’t seem to impact the price.

  4. Do not forget the Food Safety Modernization Act and the Animal Welfare Act.

    You would have to be a complete idiot to try and sell meat animals or produce in the USA after 2014.

    Remember the guy selling a couple hundred dollars worth of pet bunnies who got fined for a million plus? That now goes for anyone. A lawyer specializing in ‘Commerce Clause’ cases said:

    Lori Robertson of, who is not a lawyer (she has a B.A. in advertising), claims the bill doesn’t apply to “that tomato plant in your backyard.” As a lawyer, I am skeptical of this claim (I co-represented the prevailing defendant in the last successful constitutional challenge to federal regulation under the interstate commerce clause, United States v. Morrison (2000), one of only two cases in 70 years in which a challenge was successful). Congress’s power under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause is almost unlimited in the eyes of the courts, and thus can reach the “tomato plant in your backyard.”

    At this point crop farmers lost out and the FDA has added thousands of dollars worth of regulations to their burden unless they can PROVE they are have been a “small farmer” selling directly to the public for the last three years. The USDA regulation of ranches was slowed down…. So far.

    At this point I do not even know what the new regs are but I decided not to chance selling anymore food animals and switched to fiber animals. Any excess males will be for my freezer only.

    I am not the only one who made this type of decision.

  5. In August of last year 70,000 cattle also died in a Bolivian snow storm. Oct 1 2200 died of an Argentinian snow storm. End of August 1500 died in snow in Paraguay.

    It wasn’t a good year for Cattle to be outdoors last year.

  6. even more curious is the fact usa has ben importing more aus beef lately.
    it does tend to be lesser value ie for mince I gather
    and your taco? chains recently sourced beef here grass fed due to health concerns and consumer demand.
    there i a massive glut from th EU since they cut their own farmers throats by sanctions on russia as well
    presently theyre paying farmers for dumping it. fruit cheese milk meat etc.
    ya just cant fix stupid.

  7. read Joel Sallatin(polyface farm) everything I want to do is illegal.
    or suss his webpage polyface farm
    and hes got youtube stuff as well.

    we have the same cretinous attitude happening here in aus
    a LOT of its come from EU agenda 21 control the people crud.the rest is big pharma agri led.

  8. This has nothing to do with the govt. to my knowledge. I live in cattle country. Feed prices were at all time highs a few years ago. Cattlemen couldn’t make any money, so they culled their herds, and so the number of cattle dropped. They even closed a large slaughter house in the area because of the shrinkage of the cattle herds. That as a year and a half ago. So, now there’s a shortage of beef. Higher prices for beef will give the farmers incentive to rebuild their herds, but with cows, that will take a couple of years at least. They don’t reproduce as fast as chickens and pigs.

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