Meat Demand Could Drop

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ A cattle industry analyst says the current recession means the nation's livestock industry is going to see its biggest per capita decline for beef, pork and poultry since 1982.

CattleFax analyst Randy Blach tells hundreds of producers gathered for the annual Kansas Livestock Association convention in Wichita Thursday that consumers are already buying cheaper cuts of beef. Per capita consumption of chuck was up 10 percent, while consumption of more expensive loin was down 7 percent.

Blach says cattlemen on average lost $130 a head for their cattle this year.

His outlook for next year was also grim. He expects livestock inventories to continue shrinking, meat consumption to decline and costs to remain high. He also expects global demand to outstrip beef supplies and the global credit crisis to take months to stabilize.