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Beef Market Impacts From COVID-19

Apr 08, 2020

Wholesale and retail beef markets have endured enormous upheaval since mid-March. Starting March 16, the surge in retail grocery buying put huge demands on retail supply chains resulting in dramatic and immediate spikes in wholesale beef prices. As shown in Table 1, the overall cutout jumped by nearly 19 percent in a matter of three days. Wholesale prices continued to push higher until March 23, peaking at $257.32 cwt., up 23.6 percent from March 13th levels.

Since then, the cutout has dropped over 10 percent to $230.44/cwt. on April 3rd. It is not clear exactly where the boxed beef cutout will settle out in the coming days. At the same time, the demand for food service has dropped sharply leading to a diverse set of impacts on various wholesale beef cuts.

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