Consumer Demand Surge Leads to Higher Boxed Beef Prices as Food Supply Chain Adjusts to COVID-19


Oklahoma Farm Report†

24 Mar 2020


Todayís Beef Buzz features comments from Dr. Glynn Tonsor, livestock market economist with Kansas State University, about higher boxed beef prices versus cash cattle prices. Dr.Tonsor studies not only livestock market trends but also focuses on all aspects of the meat supply chain ranging from production level supply issues to end-user consumer demand issues.


The spread between cash cattle prices and the boxed beef market has become rather dramatic as the COVID-19 crisis has closed restaurants and forced consumers to eat more meals at home. Dr. Tonsor said this has led to a consumer demand surge for chuck and round primal cuts.


These primal cuts are where we get ground beef, Tonsor said. The price of these primal cuts has increased over 35 percent compared to the previous week.


For additional historic perspective, Tonsor said when we had the Tyson plant fire in Kansas last August the weekly price surge was 10.3 percent.


Itís going to be fascinating to see how this plays out over the next several weeks as the entire food chain adjusts to meet the consumer demand, Tonsor said...


more, including audio [5:51 min.]††