Cattle prices are expected to set new records in 2013 while hog prices are expected to have their second highest year ever. High feed costs have led to lower numbers of animals, which University of Missouri Extension agricultural economist Ron Plain says is why meat prices will be going up.
“The U.S. meat supply per capita has been steadily declining,” Plain said during the 2013 MU Extension Winter AgMarketing Outlook Conference. “It’s expected that 2013 will be the seventh consecutive year with less meat per person, down 22 pounds from 2006 and the lowest per capita supply since 1991.”
Slaughter steer, yearling and slaughter cow prices all reached record highs in 2012. It was the third straight year for steers to set record prices and the second consecutive year for both yearlings and slaughter cows.
“The expectation is that all three will set new price records again in 2013,” Plain said. “We are not yet to the peak in cattle prices.”
Hogs have also been hit by the high cost of feed. Plain says there is a high correlation between the price of corn and the break-even cost for hog production. Even so, surveys show some producers are looking to expand.