The World Will Pay More for Meat as Food Inflation Deepens
· High feed costs rippling through supply chain to meat counters
· Food costs part of the wider debate on how to handle inflation
By Michael Hirtzer, Megan Durisin, and Tatiana Freitas, Bloomberg
February 15, 2021
There are signs that the food inflation that’s gripped the world over the past year, raising prices of everything from shredded cheese to peanut butter, is about to get worse.
The Covid-19 pandemic upended food supply chains, paralyzing shipping, sickening workers that keep the world fed and ultimately raising consumer grocery costs around the globe last year. Now farmers -- especially ones raising cattle, hogs and poultry -- are getting squeezed by the highest corn and soybean prices in seven years. It’s lifted the costs of feeding their herds by 30% or more. To stay profitable, producers including Tyson Foods Inc. are increasing prices, which will ripple through supply chains and show up in the coming months as higher price tags for beef, pork and chicken around the world.
Feed prices “go up and down, and you tend to take the rough with the smooth,” said Mark Gorton, managing director at the British chicken and turkey producer Traditional Norfolk Poultry. “But when it rallies as much as it has, it starts to impact massively on the business.”
The last time grains were this expensive was after the U.S. drought of 2012, and meat prices saw a dramatic run-up. Now, meat is again poised to become a driver of global food inflation, and part...
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