At Area Butcher Shops, Sudden Hike in Price of Holiday Beef Cuts
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By Hadas Kuznits
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The cost of your holiday corned beef or brisket could cost you more this year.
Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, the cost of corned beef has gone up by at least 25 percent in one week, according to Steve Safern, partner and owner of Hershel’s East Side Deli, in the Reading Terminal Market.
Safern (right) says he expects prices of Passover brisket — which is made from the same cut of beef — to remain high as well.
“It seems like there is a shorter supply,” he tells KYW Newsradio. “They have claimed that the cattle kills are much less. Cost of grain has come up, cost of transportation.” And when you have a shorter supply and a greater demand, he explains, the prices go up.
Safern says that in previous years, prices have fluctuated. This year, they’ve been on a steady rise.
“We used to be able to get first cuts for around $3.25 a pound, and now it’s at $4.50 a pound — that’s a big difference.”
But he expects the prices to dip again sometime in April.
“We just hope they come down to a level that’s more normal for us,” he tells KYW Newsradio. He says the high prices could have a long-term effect on the meat industry.
“If people start switching to other types of meat, (beef producers) may lose them as a customer for a long time,” he says.