U.S. beef prices go down as demand surges

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-05 03:29:43|Editor: yan
Video PlayerClose

HOUSTON, July 4 (Xinhua) -- As ground beef prices hit a three-year low in the United States, more people are likely to enjoy their burgers during Independence Day holiday gathering.

Americans consumed more than 803 million U.S. dollars of ground beef during last year's holiday. The sales are expected to keep pace on Tuesday, according to a report by the market research group Nielsen.

According to May data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, one pound (0.45 kg) of ground beef cost averaged 3.56 U.S. dollars, down 68 cents from the 2015 peak of 4.24 dollars, making it the cheapest since 2014.

Drought and grain shortages initially drove up prices, prompting ranchers to expand their herds in pursuit of bigger profits. That surge in supply is now responsible for prices falling, and economists say the prices should remain relatively low for a while.

The United States is already a world leading beef producer. Projections show beef production in America will reach about 26.3 billion pounds (12 billion kg) this year, up four percent since 2016 and the highest since 2010, according to data from the U.S. Agriculture Department.

The demand comes not only from the U. S., but also from foreign consumers in markets such as China, where America recently resumed exports after a halt of over a decade.