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Cattle Prices Up, But So Are Producer’s Costs

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Strong demand for a shrinking supply of beef is keeping prices high for producers.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says prices are at record levels.

Chairman of the World Agricultural Outlook Board, Jerry Bange, says they’re forecasting price increases for the next two years, while cattle numbers continue to drop. He says the average steer price will be up around $122.00 dollars, something producers should be celebrating, but for the increase in production costs that go with it.

“That joy, perhaps, is not shared by the producers and the packers who have been complaining that, even with very strong prices, they’re looking at pretty strong costs on the cost side. Feeder cattle are pretty sharply priced. Packer returns in the beef industry have not been all that great, so there is some concern even with these strong prices.”

Corn prices are expected to shoot up 30 percent on the current crop.

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