Ground beef and pork loin prices have returned to pre-pandemic levels following an initial price surge caused by supply challenges due to COVID-19. Now, prime rib and chicken wings are even cheaper than before the pandemic began, according to Nielsen data. In early September, prime rib steak sold for an average of $7.15 a pound, down more than 11% since the beginning of the year. New York strip steak prices are about 8% lower, and beef brisket prices have fallen nearly 20%. Due to low exports, prices for chicken leg quarters have also dropped nearly 40% compared to 2019 levels, according to executives at Sanderson Farms, a top U.S. poultry company.
U.S. Department of Agriculture figures show that meat processing has not only resumed but is now largely exceeding year-over-year levels. Increased production and reduced demand have lowered wholesale meat prices as well. Gordon Food Service Inc., one of the country’s largest restaurant food distributors, is selling beef cuts for half of what they cost several months ago. But despite production increases, Tyson Foods, the country’s largest meat company by sales, recently estimated that about 1 million cattle and 3 million hogs remain backed up on U.S. feedlots and farms due to previous slaughterhouse shutdowns. Get the full story here at the Wall Street Journal.