Meat Packers Accused of Price Fixing
Costco and Wendy's are limiting sales due to coronavirus-related production shutdowns
BISMARCK, N.D. — Attorney General William Barr is being urged to conduct a federal investigation into national price fixing by meat packers in the cattle industry.
He was sent a letter calling for the investigation by North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and his counterparts in 10 other states including Minnesota and South Dakota.
North Dakota Farmers Union President Mark Watne says he has rarely seen such obvious market abuses.
He says four meat packing companies control more than 80% of beef processing in the United States.
Watne says they’re posting record profits, while ranchers are suffering significant market price losses.
U.S. meat supplies are dwindling due to coronavirus-related production shutdowns.
As a result, Costco and Wendy’s are limiting sales.
U.S. beef and pork processing capacity is down 40% from last year.
On Monday night, nearly 20% of U.S. Wendy’s didn’t have beef available on their online menus, according to an analysis by Stephens, an investment bank.
Wendy’s confirms it’s seeing temporary shortages.
Meat production plants are gradually reopening.