Ranchers Enjoy Record Prices for Beef

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, November 25, 2004
After a string of lean years, ranchers are enjoying their second consecutive year of record prices for beef. Operators are getting 85 dollars per hundred pounds this year compared to 67-dollars two years ago. Experts cite a couple of reasons for the higher prices -- demand is outstripping supply because herds were reduced during the lean years. And the low-carb diets have sent consumers looking for high-protein foods like beef. Ben Higgins the Executive Vice President of the California Cattlemen’s Association says demand will likely increase because Japan is dropping its ban on U-S beef following a scare from “mad cow” disease.  HIGGINS :09— We’re looking forward to having that market back in 2005. The exports markets are certainly a significant contributor to the prices received for cattle and calves.  Unit its boycott, Japan accounted for about a billion and a half dollars out of America’s four billion dollar a year beef industry. Economists say Japan's re-entry into the market could bring back other international customers to the United States. Bob Hensley KXJZ News.