Meat+Poultry - July 2018 - 31
expected to be each up at least 5 percent from
last year. The feeling was that these increases
would force wholesale prices lower and eat
into packers' profits.
This occurred to some extent for pork
processors, but the opposite occurred for fed
beef processors because domestic beef demand
at both retail and foodservice was stronger than
expected in the first half, fueled by a strong
economy, declining unemployment and wage
increases for most workers. Beef sold extremely
well at retail even though average prices there
were higher than last year. The fact that beef
sold so well proved that demand was stronger
than in the year-earlier period, analysts say.
Even stronger demand for US beef and
pork internationally occurred in the first half.
Beef exports the first four months of the year
were up 10 percent in volume to 429,286 metric
tons (mt) and export value was $2.59 billion,
www.meatpoultry.com | 07.18 | MEAT+ POULTRY