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March 4, 2021 Issues & Insights

What We’re Reading | Beef sector saw winners and losers during COVID

The Western Producer by Barb Glen

Consumers paid more for beef, processors and retailers increased their profits and feedlot owners lost millions in 2020 because of COVID-19.

A paper published through the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy, written by project co-ordinator Karen Spencer, indicates feedlots lost an estimated $379 million in gross revenues for 2020 compared to the previous year, reducing their collective income by 6.7 percent.

Consumers at the same time paid more for beef at the retail counter as demand surged when pandemic-related health measures forced closure of restaurants and increased demand for cooking at home.

On average they paid 6.2 percent more for beef products in 2020 compared to 2019, the paper said, and some months saw as much as 18 percent higher beef prices year over year.

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