Resilience360 released a report that reveals that the meat industry could face up to a whopping $20 billion in losses due to COVID-19-related disruptions. The meat industry has been severely impacted by the infections of more than 20,000 workers, as well as a decreased demand for meat at schools and restaurants during COVID-19 government shutdowns. A number of meat production plants have closed, causing increased wholesale prices and decreased livestock prices, and the industry will most likely see long-term challenges due to disruptions caused by the pandemic.
The Resilience360 report also shows that COVID-19-related disruptions have led to temporary food shortages, increased grocery prices and limited selections in supermarkets. In fact, grocery prices increased a shocking 2.6% in April, which is the biggest one-month increase since 1974. And, meat prices increased even more: chicken prices by 5.8%, processed meat by 5.7%, beef by 3.3% and pork by 3%.
“The United States domestic food supply chain showed resilience during the worst of the pandemic in the second quarter, but the long-term effects remain to be seen,” says Shehrina Kamal, Product Director, Risk Monitoring for Resilience360. “We could see a future disruption of food supply chains if we have a second wave of COVID-19 infections.”
The report also shares the following facts and statistics:
● Meat packaging and processing plants were closed for about 11 days on average, and the plants most impacted by the COVID-19 disruptions are in leading meat processing states like Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota and Pennsylvania.
● Meat processing and meat exports play a strong role in the United States economy. Pork exports continued to increase with demand from China in March and increased exports to Canada, Mexico and Japan.
● The beverage sector was also impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, seeing limited availability and increased CO2 prices, but the easing lockdown restrictions will likely lead to increased CO2 supplies and a decrease in prices.