Thanks to low production, turkey prices rise in November

23 Nov 2020

Thanksgiving and Christmas in the United States are shaping up to be expensive affairs even as consumers have suffered the economic ramifications of COVID-19 for most of 2020.

Data from the United States Department of Agriculture show that turkey prices have been trending upward for most of the year and are significantly above the price per pound recorded in 2019. This data is echoed from market research firm Mintec that U.S. turkey prices increased 14.9% year over year in October, following a 1% decline in turkey production this past August.

Thanks to low production, turkey prices rise in November

Researchers at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Service similarly found that turkey production is down 7.7% in October compared to this time last year, and there were 11.5% fewer birds in cold storage in September awaiting distribution for Thanksgiving, Meat and Poultry reported.

Decreased production is also met by increased demand for exported turkeys. Mintec reported that Mexico and China have increased exportation shipments, which, in turn, have driven up prices for turkeys as the holiday season approaches.

Compared to last year when turkey prices were 20% lower than the market's five-year average, the price tag of a Thanksgiving meal may prove to be shocking for Americans celebrating the holiday.

In addition to proportionally greater prices associated with turkeys, Mintec pricing analyses showed that across the board, the traditional festive foods associated with this holiday – potatoes, wheat flour for bread, and pork - are currently 9.2% more expensive than at this time last year.