By Colleen Ferreira (email@example.com)
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8:41 AM EDT, October 30, 2012
Hard to believe we were in a drought a few months ago, but those hot summer months are now taking a toll on meat prices here and across the country.
What can we expect this winter?
Merlin Eby knows a thing or two about meat. He’s been in the butcher business for 45 years.
“’88, there was a drought like this, and it takes time to work out,” said Eby.
A USDA report shows beef production down this year. In September, it was at 2.02 billion pounds, 9% below September 2011.
Eby isn’t seeing too much of a change right now, saying the prices are locked in for the moment, but when it comes to beef, anything is possible.
“Who knows what it will do in the future,” Eby said. “One morning, a truck comes in, and it could add 10-20 cents per pound.”
Across town, though, it’s a different story.
Steve Gill with DC Meats already sees the increase.
“It’s higher than I’ve ever seen it before,” said Gill.
Gill is paying 20 to 25 cents more per pound this year than last.
“It doesn’t sound like a lot, but 20 cents a pound times 800 is a lot of fluctuation,” Gill noted.
He says it’s supply and demand, but could simple economics cost him some revenue this year? It’s too early to tell.
“I’m just hoping it doesn’t affect our business,” added Gill. “I mean that’s the biggest thing. Will it? Can it? Yeah.”
The Indiana Beef cattle association says prices are also up because of the increased amount of exports to Asia and Europe.
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