LUBBOCK, Texas – The COVID-19 pandemic is causing supply chain issues, making meat market prices go down.
There are many reasons for this, including meat processing plants being shut down or slowing their hours because of the virus.
“Packers are not killing as many cattle, so they are not buying as many cattle, so they are driving the price down,” said Brent Simpson, Director of Operations at Llano Estacado Cattle Company.
Ranchers do not want to sell, but this is the time of year when a lot of cattle are coming to town.
“A lot of these guys are losing $300, $400 dollars a head and you take a guy that has a thousand of them or had a thousand he’s not doing any good,” said Tony Mann of Lubbock Stockyard.
This is primetime for the cattle industry, and once they hit market weight they have to go.
“You can hold cattle back for a little bit longer but your poultry and pork producers, when that market animal gets to the ideal weight, it has to go to market and it has to go to market that day,” said Simpson.
They say the supply at grocery stores won’t go down.
“We are not going to run out of meat. The only thing about it is getting it killed or what we should say harvested,” said Mann.