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Food & Beverage

Meat Prices Going Even Higher

April 27, 2011
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In a revised forecast Monday, the U.S. Agricultural Department indicated that consumers will see higher price tags on a package of ground beef or steak at the supermarket, according to MarketWatch. Retail prices have been surging the last nine months as animal supplies shrink, exports grow and feed-grain costs soar. Overall, the USDA said meat prices will climb 6 to 7 percent this year over 2010, up from its March 25 forecast for a 4.5 to 5.5 percent increase. Beef prices are projected to jump 7 to 8 percent, up sharply from the government’s March estimate of a 4.5 to 5.5 percent rise. Beef prices are already running 12 percent higher than they were a year ago. Pork prices, which gained more than other meats last year, will be a half-percentage point higher, rising 6.5 to 7.5 percent over 2010. The USDA left unchanged its food-at-home inflation forecast that calls for grocery-store prices to run 3.5 to 4.5 percent more than they did a year ago. Meat makers have benefited from a recipe of lower supplies and higher prices, following a painful restructuring when corn prices spiked in 2008.

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