U.S. meat production edged higher again last year, despite
the dampening influence of high grain prices and feed
costs. The latest figures from the U.S. Department of
Agriculture show meat production rose 1.7 percent in
1996, marking the 14th consecutive year of expansion.
However, last year’s increase fell short of the 2.6 percent
compound annual rate of gain that has characterized the
trend since 1982. And on a trade-adjusted basis, virtually
all of last year’s gain in production was wiped out in
terms of the output that was available for domestic consumers.
Another below-trend rise in meat production is
projected for this year.