Domestic demand remains strong for beef
A University of Missouri extension specialist says despite disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic, domestic demand for beef has been strong.
During a recent ag market outlook, hosted by the University of Missouri, Joe Horner told attendees consumers continue to choose beef even though there’s increased competition in the meat case from pork and poultry. “Consumers have said they like beef,” he says. “And that’s their preferred food they want to eat.”
However, he says he is concerned that domestic demand for beef could wane if disposable incomes remain pressured because of the coronavirus pandemic in 2021. “If we don’t get the stimulus funds like we did in 2020, and disposable income does start to decline, then I have to worry that we’re going to have that substitution effect,” he says. “Because we’re going to have more pork and chicken in 2021 than we did in 2020. The good news for beef is that we’re actually going to have less once we get further out in the year.”
Horner says China’s efforts to rebuild its swine herd following African swine fever could eventually result in less global demand for US beef and other proteins. He says that would put even more pressure on US consumers to buy more beef.