Economist expects higher prices, shift in available meats


Economist expects higher prices, shift in available meats

A livestock economist expects the availability of total meat products to remain steady in 2022, but she does anticipate a shift in the product mix.

Brenda Boetel with the University of Wisconsin River Falls tells Brownfield consumers will have less beef and pork on the market but more poultry. “It’s a supply issue as we are seeing with the cattle herd. We are starting to decline. We’re still contracting so that means there’s eventually going to be less beef supply, and then when we look at the hog industry, we culled quite a few after the 2020 shutdown, so the herd is still smaller there.”

Boetel says inflation and available supplies are impacting consumer meat prices. “The increase that we’ve seen in those beef prices has been greater than the other products. Pork is the second-highest protein. It still has been increasing though, and then poultry which is the least expensive of those proteins, it’s gone up but the impact has been much less.”

And Boetel expects a drop in U.S. meat exports this year. “They won’t be quite as strong in 2022 for some of them but a lot of that has to do with not so much that the exports aren’t desired, we just don’t have as much supply to be able to export.”

Brownfield interviewed Boetel during the recent University of Wisconsin Ag Outlook Forum.