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Beef demand on the rise nationally.

Americans will be eating more beef during the next few years, the National Cattlemen's Association (NCA) predicts. It says beef production will increase by more than one percent in 1993 and that average per capita consumption is expected to rise slightly from the 1992 level of 66.5 pounds.

Increases in beef exports and the U.S. population will keep growth in per capita supplies slow, notes Chuck Lambert, NCA director of economics. However, the amount of beef and other meats will be large enough to prevent wholesale and retail prices from increasing very much, if at all. The retail beef price average is expected to be about the same as the 1992 average of $2.58 per pound, for all grades of beef.

On a retail weight basis, average per captia beef consumption currently is about the same as chicken consumption. On a boneless, edible weight basis, however, beef remains well ahead of chicken and will continue as the leading meat well into the foreseeable future, maintains Tom Brink, director of market research for Cattle-Fax, a market information service associated with NCA. In 1993, he forecasts, beef consumption likely will exceed that of chicken and turkey combined.

Cattle-Fax has made the following estimates of average per capita consumption--boneless, uncooked weight--for 1993: beef, 63.2 pounds; pork, 50.2; veal, 0.8; lamb, 1.1; total red meat, 115.3; chicken, 46.4; turkey, 14.9; total poultry, 61.3; total red meat and poultry, 176.6. "It's clear that beef is still the leading meat in the U.S.," Brink indicates. "When you consider consumer expenditures for the different types of meat, beef's lead is even more apparent. Americans on average spend about $195 for beef, on a retail price basis, in a year. That is more than the amount spent on either poultry or pork. This same trend is expected to continue."
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Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Date:Apr 1, 1993
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