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Labor Shortages and Volatile Feed Prices Ahead for Meat Industry

Labor Shortages and Volatile Feed Prices Ahead for Meat Industry
Meat Retreat attendees working hard to hone their beef butchery skills at the April 13 Meat Retreat hosted by New York Beef Council.

A Rabobank analyst says the U.S. could be on the tail end of the second longest expansion of its economy in history.

Rabobank Analyst Don Close told the North American Meat Institute this week there are implications for the meat industry, including a pending labor shortage and possible volatile commodity prices ahead, according to meat industry publication Meatingplace. Close warns that labor shortages are going to get worse over the next few months, and feed grain prices are headed towards more volatility.

There currently are large stocks of corn and soybeans in storage, which will continue if this is a normal crop year. But, the analyst says “the ride this summer could be quite exciting,” explaining that normal weather market price changes could be intensified by all the extra investors in the market.

As for labor, he predicts rising competition for labor and associated wage increases over the next 12 to 18 months.

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