Analyst forecasts 2013 retail meat prices to rise

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ The continuing drought means consumers can
expect to pay 5 to 8 percent more at the meat counter next year
regardless of whether they buy beef, pork or chicken.
CattleFax executive vice president Randy Blach made that
prediction Friday during the 100th convention of the Kansas
Livestock Association.
Roughly 70 percent of the nation's cattle herd has been affected
by drought, with 40 percent impacted by a severe drought.
Blach estimates that the nation's herd is going to be reduced by
one million cattle when the government releases its semi-annual
cattle inventory in January.
With shrinking slaughter numbers, he also anticipates that at
least one major meatpacking plant will close within a year, along
with several cattle feedyards.

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