Beef Getting Pricey as Ranchers Restock
If you’re getting ready for the summer grilling season, be warned. You can expect the price of a steak or hamburger to be higher this summer, as cattle prices have been hitting all-time highs this year.
It’s a pretty simple formula: Dry weather reduced supply, now wet weather has increased demand. In other words, the drought that struck Texas last year forced ranchers to sell off their cattle. Now, rains across much of the state have some ranchers rebuilding their herds.
At some auctions across the state, that’s brought the price of a cow higher than it’s ever been. And that’s going to translate into higher prices at butcher counters and grocery stores for some time to come, says Stan Bevers, an economist with the Texas Agrilife Extension.
“What we’re doing is taking animals out of the food chain which would normally be turned into beef but turning them back into an asset that’s going to build our calf numbers, so in the short term we actually take away calves that could be going to beef,” Bevers said.
Another reason demand is so high, he said, is that Texas is increasing beef exports to Canada, Mexico and parts of Asia.