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Meat-price spike a result of pandemic

Posted at 6:44 PM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 23:43:59-04

If you’ve been to the grocery store lately and bought any meat, you’ve probably noticed the cost has gone up. Those rising prices are being felt by customers but also local businesses.

The prices of beef, pork and chicken have all gone up at Moody’s Quality Meats. Owner Terry Moench said, for example, the price for extra lean ground meat has nearly doubled in price since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Some cuts also have also gone up anywhere from 30 percent to 40 percent in the past couple weeks.

Moench said he thinks the combination of panic-buying at the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic, and short-staffed meat processing plants mostly are to blame. He told KRIS 6 meat processing plants are operating at only around 60 percent.

"There's plenty of live animals,” said Moench. “But the deal is, we don't have enough people, enough on the packing house side in order to get the animals fabricated or harvested."

"The whole thing boils down to supply and demand,” he said. “If there's demand and very little supply, prices goes up."

Moench said he does expect prices to begin evening out after the Memorial Day weekend -- a holiday in which he said many people buy meat: red meat, especially.