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Higher Supplies Keeping Consumer Meat Prices Lower

Higher Supplies Keeping Consumer Meat Prices Lower

Higher supplies of meat will continue to pressure consumer prices lower, according to a forecast by the Department of Agriculture.

The USDA Economic Research Service Food Price Outlook predicts beef and veal prices to decrease one to two percent in 2017 but increase the same amount in 2018. That’s because in August, the U.S. cattle herd was at its highest level since 2008, according to meat industry publication Meatingplace.

Lower beef prices are adding pressure to lower pork prices, along with an anticipated 4.9 percent increase in pork production this year. Large pork supplies are expected to change retail prices in a range of 0.5 percent lower to 0.5 percent higher in 2017, but increase 1.5 to 2.5 percent in 2018. Meanwhile, prices for poultry rose 0.2 percent from July to August and are one percent higher than last year.

Despite high broiler production, many broilers have low weights, which along with larger birds demanding higher prices, has contributed to higher retail poultry prices.

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