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COVID-19: Meat prices are high but farmers are hurting (+Texas Kolaches)

We’ve talked about how the increased demand for flour and yeast led to shortages in grocery stores as people stocked up on staples and had more time on their hands to experiment with bread baking. The shortages in flour and yeast were caused by people wanting to buy more and firms struggling to catch up. With these shifts in demand resulting in empty shelves, some grocery stores started placing limits on the amount you could buy.

Now these same grocery stores are placing limits on the amount of meat you can buy. This time, the shortage is for different reasons.

As you may have read, meat plants of all type (pork, chicken, and beef) are having to temporarily close because their employees are getting sick. Tyson’s has closed at least four plants (source) and Smithfield has closed at least that many (source).

In simple terms, we have less meat being processed.

How will that affect the meat market? Empty shelves? Potentially... but there are two responses which could reduce those shortages.

The first – increased prices.