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Tyson Foods temporarily lowering beef prices

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Beef cattle (Photo by Fhynek00 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=80954346)

Tyson Foods announced Wednesday that it will be temporarily discounting meat prices to restaurants and grocery stores through Saturday.

The discounts will be from 20% to 30% for ground beef, roasts and other beef products. The company said it is responding to the rise in meat prices because some processing plants have shut down due to COVID-19 infections among its workers.

Tyson processes about a fifth of the nation’s beef, according to MarketWatch, and beef represents about a third of its $42.4 billion in annual sales.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that because of plant closures, production of red meat is down about 28% over the same period last year, and wholesale prices for some meats have more than tripled since March. Ground beef, for example, is selling at $6.21 a pound, and those costs are being passed on to consumers.

At the same time, the USDA says cattle prices have dropped in many areas.

Overall, grocery prices increased by 2.6% in April, the largest one-month hike since February 1974, the Labor Department reported Tuesday. Although prices went up across the board, meat, fish and eggs led the way, increasing by 4.3%.

“The ongoing pandemic has disrupted the food system, Tyson Foods said in a statement. “It’s created challenges for our operations, many of our customers and consumers. These are unprecedented times, and although they have been difficult, Tyson believes that the future is bright.”

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