Mad cow impact on cheese prices expected to be negligible

Dec. 30, 2003

LYNDEN, Wash.--Dairy market analyst Jerry Dryer believes recent concerns over mad cow disease will have a negligible effect on cheese prices as other market forces will have a balancing impact on supply and demand.

According to, since dairy products do not transmit the disease, consumers who might steer away from beef consumption during the scare may replace that protein with cheese (along with pork, poultry and fish).

Consumers who continue to eat beef, Dryer said, may benefit from increased cheeseburger promotions, for example, since falling beef prices will make such promos affordable again for operators.

Initially, dairy futures plunged on the news of the mad cow discovery, but they've since stabilized. Dryer said continued reductions in the dairy herd and in milk production will help maintain futures prices.

* For related articles, visit or Cheese Research Center.

Topics: Cheese

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