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The Cost of Beef for Consumers Stable Since 1994 Under Current Structure of Fed Cattle Market

Wednesday, January 19, 2022
 

Looking for a scapegoat for economy-wide inflation, the Biden administration has alleged that meat and poultry industry concentration is to blame for rising consumer prices. The truth is not so convenient.

Using USDA’s meat industry concentration data, the chart below demonstrates that, although the four-firm concentration in fed cattle beef packing has remained relatively constant since 1994, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for beef has been variable over that same period; sometimes above and sometimes below the overall CPI.

four firm Concentration versus Beef
Price

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