Fears over a "meat recession" are growing just ahead of the holidays.
Online meat delivery company Good Ranchers warned consumers on social media that "a meat recession is knocking and supply is about to be tight" as cattle herd continues to shrink.
"The cattle herd has shrunk due to droughts," Good Ranchers wrote on its Instagram account. "Our total meat supply for the coming year is down significantly. This is one of the main reasons a meat recession is coming."
Walter Kunisch, senior commodities strategist at Hilltop Securities, agreed, telling FOX Business that U.S. beef cattle supplies will continue to contract throughout 2023, further pushing up beef prices for consumers "well the first half of 2024."
FOOD PRICES COULD SURGE HIGHER AS EXTREME WEATHER HURTS FARMERS
"We believe that an acute and protracted drought in the southwest U.S. is responsible for increased culling of beef cattle which is leaving the U.S. structurally short beef cattle and beef supplies," Kunish told FOX Business.
According to The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the number of castle moving from pasture into a feedlot to be conditioned for slaughter in September fell 4% nationwide year-over-year. In certain areas, such as Kansas, it was as high as 11%.
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