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High-end meat prices, which plummeted to record lows in March, have since rebounded by nearly 50 percent as a fresh round of panic buying strengthens shoppers' appetites.
The economic shutdown intended to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic initially dragged prices down 49 percent to the lowest level since at least 1993 by destroying demand from restaurants, which are typically the largest buyers of premium meat cuts such as filet mignon, Gary Morrison, vice president and boxed beef reporter for Urner Barry, told FOX Business.
In the week through March 20, when shutdowns began hitting major U.S. markets, average prices fell nearly 9 percent to $8.55 a pound, Morrison said. Over the next month, they dropped another 39 percent to an all-time low of $5.23 a pound.
A "v-shaped" recovery in prices, however, began in April, driven in part by the shrinkage of supply as some processing plants shuttered.
"This has forced another round of concern from meat buyers so they are trying to get their hands on any product they can," Morrison said. "Now, throw in the fact that some states are starting to lift some restrictions, with restaurants starting to open, there is additional demand competing for the tight supplies."
As of April 30, prices averaged about $10.30 per pound, roughly a 50 percent increase from two weeks before.
To combat fears of a meat shortage, President Donald Trump issued an executive order requiring meat plants to remain open.
The order will use the Defense Production Act to classify meat-processing as critical infrastructure and prevent a lack of chicken, pork and other meat on supermarket shelves.
Demand and prices will continue to pick up, Morrison said, as restaurants increasingly reopen across the country and the summer grilling season moves toward its peak.
"Now, throw in the fact that some states are starting to lift some restrictions, with restaurants starting to open, there is additional demand competing for the tight supplies," he added.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.