WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- Consumers should find lower prices at their meat counters the rest of this year in the wake of a slowing economy that has created a glut in the nation's cattle markets, analysts said.
The same public uncertainty that has reduced air travel and tourism is also driving down demand for beef at hotels, restaurants and resorts. That's having a big impact on cattle prices, considering that half of the beef raised in this country is eaten outside the home, said James Mintert, Kansas State University extension economist.
Aggravating beef's downward spiral was the discovery last month of mad cow disease in Japan, the single biggest buyer of U.S. beef. Early trade reports suggest Japanese consumers are not buying either their own domestic beef or U.S. exports, Mintert said.
"It is a very nervous market -- people are very concerned where consumer demand for beef will be, even in the short run," Mintert said.
Industry groups are urging consumers to take advantage of the low prices -- and eat more beef.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.