U.S. consumers continue to buy and consume pork and beef, says Glenn Grimes, University of Missouri agricultural economist. Beef demand for beef has increased by 0.6 percent through the first half of 2007; pork demand is running 0.3 percent higher.
Grimes points out that demand index that the university will issue in the coming days also will show demand gains for market animals. Specifically, for the January-to-June period, the demand for live cattle increased 3.5 percent, with live-hog demand increasing 2.9 percent from 2006 levels. Both demand sectors are driven by higher retail prices. This is good news for producers because gains in live-animal demand supports the market prices that they receive.
Pork exports have been down some from 2006 levels, which means that domestic demand is driving pork's gains. For beef, demand is up for both exports and domestic markets.