Beef demand exceeds seasonal norms


By Adam Russell, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

via The Eagle (TX) - May 3, 2021


Stronger-than-normal seasonal demand for beef is driving fed cattle prices upward, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.


Seasonal beef demand historically rises in the spring, especially leading up to grilling season, which kicks off Memorial Day, said David Anderson, AgriLife Extension economist, Bryan-College Station. But this year, demand is higher as Americans and the economy emerge from a yearlong pandemic.


Anderson said the run-up in fed cattle prices and in the wholesale market reflects the overall economic mood in the nation and globally. Economic momentum is increasing as Americans continue to gain confidence that the COVID-19 pandemic is largely in the rear view.


As percentages of Americans who have received at least one vaccination dose increase, Anderson said consumer demand is likely to shift toward higher value beef cuts and continue to build in a restaurant sector devastated by the pandemic.


Anderson said the hotel and restaurant markets have a long road to recovery but improvements in the travel sector should be encouraging.


“There’s a lot of pent-up demand,” Anderson said. “There’s more momentum toward opening up, and people want to get out or have get-togethers.”


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