Beef Buzz News
Economist Katelyn McCullock Says Holiday Beef Prices are Expected to be High
Wed, 13 Oct 2021 10:35:36 CDT
The fourth quarter of the year is home to the holidays, where many homecooked feasts grace the dinner table. With the price of beef as high as it is, some families may choose a different option for their holiday meal headliner. Katelyn McCullock, director and senior economist for the Livestock Marketing Information Center, told Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Director Ron Hays some families will stick to their beef traditions despite the cost and the families who expect to save money by choosing a more economic protein will not be able to avoid protein price hikes.
Click here to listen to Ron's converstaion with Katelyn.
“In the last couple of years - 2018 and 2019 for sure, we saw a little bit more interest in beef in that fourth quarter,” McCullock said. “From a price standpoint though, it might be tough to put beef on the table.”
McCullock said while the price of beef is high, so are the other proteins right now.
“There is not really going to be a bargain holiday meat to go after,” McCullock said.
In 2019, whole turkey prices were up 33%, in what McCullock says was a huge price jump. Right now, whole turkey prices are up an additional 10%, she added. Additionally, she expects whole turkey supplies to be tight, making turkey a more expensive option.
So far, hams are shaping up to be the most affordable holiday protein, but prices have been very volatile, meaning they could increase, according to McCullock.
“Right now, it is looking like everything is going to be relatively more expensive,” McCullock said. “Beef is probably going to be above pork and chicken, no matter what cut you choose, unless it is a really inexpensive cut.”
McCullock also spoke about the record beef exports documented in August. According to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation, U.S. beef exports topped the $1 billion mark for the first time, in August.
Although there is much to celebrate, McCullock said those numbers can be fleeting when they’re relying on one or two destinations that are having strong growth. Speaking to the long term, relying on China to sustain this new record is not wise, she added.
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear more from Ron Hays and Katelyn McCullock as they talk about August's record-breaking beef exports and more.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today’s show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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