Feedlots, consumers paid beef price

Processors and retailers had a profitable year but consumers paid more and feedlots lost millions.


By Barb Glen, The Western Producer (Canada)

April 1, 2021


Consumers paid more for beef, processors and retailers increased their profits and feedlot owners lost millions in 2020 because of COVID-19.


A paper published through the University of Calgary Simpson Centre, written by project co-ordinator Karen Spencer, indicates feedlots lost an estimated $379 million in gross revenues for 2020 compared to the previous year, reducing their collective income by 6.7 percent.


Consumers at the same time paid more for beef at the retail counter as demand surged when pandemic-related health measures forced closure of restaurants and increased demand for cooking at home.


On average they paid 6.2 percent more for beef products in 2020 compared to 2019, the paper said, and some months saw as much as 18 percent higher beef prices year over year.


Spencer said the impetus for the paper was to put some numbers to the trends consumers and the industry were seeing early in the pandemic...