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Price of beef surges at Oxford grocery stores

The price of beef at Oxford grocery stores is rising as restrictions are loosened and more businesses reopen in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Beef production is up 11.4 percent this week, due to the reopening of several processing facilities. Despite this, many Oxford residents are questioning why the price of ground beef continues to remain so high.

At Larson’s Cash Saver, the price for one pound of ground beef is $5.75. Kroger’s price is $5.79 per pound, and Walmart is $6.96 per pound. 

“We’re going off of what’s on our invoice,” Brent Larson, co-owner of Larson’s Cash Saver, said. “Any price-gouging comes from the middle man. Not us.”

According to Forbes, the reasoning behind these high prices is not the result of price-fixing, but because of inflation. People are going to the store less, but when they do go to the store, they buy in bulk. This causes a shift in supply and demand.

The way supply and demand works is, the higher the demand, the higher the supply. However, there are many factors that go into it. For example, the higher the price, the less likely customers are to buy and the more likely suppliers are to sell. 

“Our sales are hurting,” Larson said. “We’re still selling, but it’s not like how it was before.”

Another reason the price of meat is so high is that meat production is down. According to the Washington Post, “worker illness has shut down meat-processing plants” and forced the remaining facilities to slow down production to accommodate absentees and social distancing protocols.

With beef production ramping up this week, usfoods.com, one of the largest food distribution companies in the U.S., expects supplies to become more available and pricing to continue to drop.

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