High Prices, Tight Supplies, High Demand: U.S. cattle herd liquidation has impacted beef demand markets

The smallest cattle herd in the U.S. since 1951 has led to tighter beef supplies, which is not the best for international beef demand. Herd liquidation has also had an impact on domestic markets.

CEO of the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion Board Greg Hanes, says that one way they are boosting demand here in the U.S. (particularly for lower-quality cuts of meat, which are typically more sought after in the currently lagging export markets) is by showing consumers creative ways they can use beef in their meal plans.

“Even with less exports going (there would be a lot of different cuts that may have been exported). I think, now there are probably more options here for the consumers in the U.S., just with ground beef and other items that we have available that are not as expensive as your traditional kind of ‘meal’ meats. So, there’s been a lot of education and work on those, like showing how to prepare all these dishes, how to buy it, cook it – and a lot of that work really was happening before COVID and during COVID. So, I always tell people: building demand for beef isn’t a one-year job. This has been decades in the making, and now, with these kinds of conditions that we’re facing, you really see that impact and the benefits of what the Checkoffs have been able to do.”
Greg Hanes, CEO, Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion Board

Hanes says that we are at a 30-year high for beef demand, while retail prices are also at record highs.