Meat markets heat up before summer

Meat, poultry markets enjoying strong demand as economy opens up and grows.


Krissa Welshans, National Hog Farmer

Jun 01, 2021


With the economy opening up and growing rapidly, meat markets of all types are enjoying strong demand. In fact, Derrell Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension livestock marketing specialist recently noted protein markets are “red hot.”


“In numerous cases, wholesale prices for specific meat products are at record levels, exceeding the levels provoked by the pandemic disruptions one year ago; and unlike last year, lack of supply is not the issue,” he said.


Year-to-date production of beef, pork, and broilers is higher, not only compared to last year but also compared to 2019 levels.


Peel pointed out that broiler breast meat price has been at record levels in May, fueled by the chicken sandwich wars in quick service restaurants (QSR). USDA data showed the average April wholesale price for boneless/skinless breasts was $1.72/lb., 44 cents above the same month in 2019.


Chicken leg and leg quarter prices have also risen sharply since the beginning of the year, which Peel said is likely due to export demand...