Meat Prices Expected to Soar After World’s Largest Meat Producer Hit By Cyber Attack

Americans should expect to be pay more for a rib eye steak in the coming days.

JBS, the world’s largest meat producer, is temporarily shutting all of its U.S. beef operations as it grapples with a cyberattack on its U.S., Canadian and Australian businesses.

The company is the latest to suffer from a cyber attack. The attack comes just weeks after Colonial Pipeline was forced to temporarily suspend production on its pipeline that supplied nearly 50% of natural gas to the East coast.

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The JBS shutdowns will affect the company’s nine U.S. beef plants in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Utah, Michigan and Nebraska, according to the union representing the company’s more than 25,000 beef manufacturing employees. The company’s meat production accounts for roughly 25% of the U.S. beef supply and is expected to have an immediate inflationary effect on prices.

Costs for consumer goods — including food — have already been skyrocketing in recent months. U.S. inflation data soared in the latest month to a 13 year high according to government. Inflation is currently running hot at 4.2% from 2.6% a year earlier.

Food and energy are the two main products American consumers consume. The White House suggested Tuesday that the attack most likely came from Russia.

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