In the lead-up to the Winter Olympics, fears of a Russian outbreak of an avian flu virus have sparked big-time drops in the prices of poultry, eggs and cattle.
The volatile market sent warnings that America might not survive as a dominant leader in the global food industry in light of trade disputes with China, which could limit Chinese demand for U.S. grains and other inputs used in animal agriculture.
News of the renewed outbreak forced food and agricultural giants to pay dearly for their stocks, including Tyson Foods, Pilgrim’s Pride, and Sanderson Farms.
The simple reality of animal agriculture is that the world’s population is continuing to climb, and as trade barriers increase, global economies are betting their businesses on a tighter supply of protein.
Even if there’s a straight-line decline in food prices, the value of companies that help produce and deliver protein could rise.
Last year, as commodity prices began their steep decline, several companies provided food consumers with quality, affordable meals. A grass-fed burger with tangy apple cheddar at Five Guys sold for $7.50, where a hamburger at a conventional fast-food restaurant costs $9. Or, at Burger King, there was simple – but ubiquitous – Satisfries, a super-tender patty made from potatoes and sugar that was awarded a perfect score from Americans’ National Satisfaction Research Institute in May.