Covid-19 has made this a rough year for everyone. It has affected every single aspect of our lives from how we do business to even how we interact with family and friends. It has impacted our economies and our food supplies.
With multiple meat plants shutting down across the country the meat supply was severely impacted. While they are up and running again Covid-19 restrictions keep them from running at full capacity and they cannot keep up with processing demands. Many processors are booked out until 2022 making it very difficult for Tribes to get buffalo processed for their members or for retail sales.
Carcass prices show a slight decline. As seen in this chart the hot hanging weight prices are down slightly except for aged cows which remained steady at $3.38 per pound. Meat prices in stores have remained steady or increased in cost yet it does not appear that those higher prices in the store are translating into higher prices for the producers. There seems to be a serious disconnect in the pricing producers are receiving and the price stores are charging consumers.
The most recent auction report is from March and there have been limited auctions between January and March, so there are not a lot of numbers to pull from. Even with the lack of information it does show a slight downward trend in the price a buffalo will fetch at auction. Yearling and 2 year old heifers have taken the hardest hit. At the end of last year yearling heifers were averaging $1.88 a pound and so far this year the average price is $1.38 per pound. 2 year old heifers were averaging $1.63 a pound and currently average $1.11 a pound. The true test of the market will be this fall. We will update you once more recent auction reports showing how auctions have gone since March are available.
Below are links to the auction results as well as the wholesale averages over the last 5 years. I hope these help in determining a fair price for your buffalo.