Beef Prices Skyrocket, Chicken Industry Benefits - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Beef Prices Skyrocket, Chicken Industry Benefits

SEAFORD, Del. - It's almost grilling season, but burgers might not be king this year, as beef prices continue to skyrocket nationwide. With the prices rising so drastically, chicken has become the meat of choice for many consumers. On Delmarva, there is no shortage of chicken farms, which means many locally are reaping the benefits from this trend. 

CBS Analyst Mellody Hobson said that there are many reasons for this spike in beef costs. On the supply side, she said that drought, combined with bad weather has killed thousands of cattle in the Midwest. Meanwhile, on the demand side, she said emerging Asian markets like China have developed a taste for red meat. According to numbers from the USDA, China's imports of this beef have jumped by almost 20 times to 475,000 tons.

Connie Parvis, from the Delmarva Poultry Industry said that these cost increases matter to consumers. 

"As they're going to the supermarket," she said. "As they're comparing prices - and I think consumers are comparing prices, probably as much as they ever have - they're finding chicken prices are a bit more reasonable, and they're turning to chicken."

WBOC went to a local Walmart to compare prices. The cheapest beef product we could find went for $5.98 per pound. Meanwhile, a pack of chicken legs went for just $1.31 per pound, a difference of more than $4.00. 

Chicken farmer Craig Truitt said the trend means job security for all those who work in the industry.

"It keeps the demand for corn and soy bean up," he said. "And the price of chicken up. And we stay in business."
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