Apr 23, 2014 6:44 PM
Where's the beef? That’s not exactly the question on many butchers' minds these days. The better question: how much is this beef going to cost?
“You’ll see prices jumping anywhere from 20 to 70 cents a pound per week,” said S&S Butcher Shop manager Adam Thomas. “It’s just very unstable right now.”
Meat prices have been on the rise for months and now they're closing in on an all-time high.
“1987 I think was the last big increase like this,” Thomas said of meat prices. “It’s been changing more than I’ve ever seen since I’ve been the manager here.”
The increase in the price of meat, however, hasn't necessarily meant Thomas’ customers are cutting back on purchases.
“People are just accepting the change in price,” he said. “There’s not a whole lot anyone can do about it. Just like fuel: you have to have food and you can’t go without it.”
From pig viruses to a lack of product, there's a lot to blame for this price increase but the major one: this season's record-setting drought.
“A lot of it has to do with the drought,” Thomas said. “There’s just not enough feed. The cost of feed is going up so the ranchers are selling off their cattle.”
And with the start of summer just a few weeks away, another long dry season is making it difficult for everyone looking to put meat on the table.