Beef consumption is not the same as beef demand
Even though we eat (i.e., consume) the beef produced, it doesn’t mean that beef demand remains in a consistent relationship with production. Beef consumption can increase without an increase in beef demand because beef demand and beef consumption are not the same thing. For example, beef consumption might increase because more beef is produced, but beef demand decreases because consumers are willing to pay less for each pound of beef they consume, says Brenda Boetel, professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
Beef demand is impacted by several factors including beef prices, as well as prices of alternative proteins such as pork and chicken. Additionally, income is another determining factor in beef demand, as well as other factors such as tastes and preferences. Demand reflects consumers’ perceptions of beef in the marketplace and is representative of consumers’ willingness to pay for beef. The beef demand index calculated at Kansas State University shows a decrease of almost 18% for choice retail beef for April 2020, compared to April 2019.
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