As consumer beef prices continue to go rise, prices ranchers receive for their cattle are going down. Many ranchers and economists believe that market manipulation is among the many reasons for the puzzling disconnect – along with price gouging by some unscrupulous sellers.
State Rep. Drew Springer, chair of the House Agriculture and Livestock committee, has called for an investigation into the pricing practices of meat packers. Just four companies control 85% of the U.S beef market.
Springer asked Attorney General Ken Paxton to investigate alleged price fixing by those companies. Springer says that while price changes are likely sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic, he believes market manipulation is also a concern.
“During the pandemic, we have laws against price gouging,” says Springer. “But we’d heard about market manipulation, and while we were talking about that, we said if we’re going to open an investigation about this to see if there’s any violations, we need to include that as well.”
What you’ll hear in this segment:
– How COVID-19 and market manipulation could be affecting cattle prices
– What claims meat packing companies are making
– Why ranchers and economists are launching an investigation
Written by Samantha Carrizal.