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Meat Supply’s ‘Precipitous’ Drop Spurs Record Price, Nelson Says

U.S. meat and poultry production may drop as much as 5 percent next year, sending beef and pork prices to a record amid climbing feed costs and shrinking herds, according to Rabobank International.

Producers are curbing output as tighter feed supplies boost costs, which will lead to a “precipitous fall” in available meat in 2012, David Nelson, a global strategist at Rabobank, said in a report. The drop is compounded by a drought that is forcing ranchers in the Southwest to cull herds and by surging demand for U.S. beef in developing countries, he said.