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Bloomberg reports that “U.S. meat prices may rise to records this summer after farmers reduced hog and cattle herds to the smallest sizes in decades, the result of surging feed costs linked to demands for more ethanol.

“Wholesale pork jumped as much as 25 percent this month to 90.68 cents a pound last week, the highest since August 2008, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data show. Beef climbed 22 percent this year to $1.6896 a pound on April 23, the most expensive since July 2008. Chicken's gain in March was the most in 20 months.”

Some analysts believe that this means that retail prices may hit a high in the next three months, but that sales could actually go down because Americans - still bruised and battered from the recession - choose to buy cheaper cuts or switch to other, less expensive foods.
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