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Posted: Friday, 04 July 2014 9:39AM

4th of July barbecues more expensive than ever

Americans can expect the most expensive Fourth of July barbecue this year than ever before.  Prices of beef, poultry, and pork are at historic highs as we enter the holiday weekend.

But LSU AgCenter economist Kurt Guidry says even with higher prices, we don't seem to be eating any less meat.
"More than anything else, we've seen a shift within those groups.  So, maybe, they're not buying high-end steak products, but they're buying ground beef.  Or they're substituting steak for lower poultry or chicken products."
According to the Rabobank BBQ Index, the cost of a typical 10-person barbecue has risen 28% over the past 10 years.  They say ground beef prices are 71% higher than they were five years ago.  Guidry says you shouldn't expect to see prices fall anytime soon.
"I think we're going to see these prices stay at these current levels, certainly, for the remainder of 2014 and probably into 2015."
He says the rise in beef prices can be attributed to lower supplies because of drought conditions over the last few years in several parts of the US.  But Guidry says this year they are starting to see some minor expansion in cattle herds.
"Like anything else, it takes time for that expansion to turn into available product.  So when you at the projections now for beef prices, pork prices to some extent, as well, those look to be maybe not any higher than they are now, but, certainly, not significantly lower than they are now."

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