01-08-2014 00:11 AM | USA

Smallest cattle herd in 40 years means costly beef

Feeder-cattle futures rose, heading for the longest rally in 37 years, with the smallest total for the U.S. herd in four decades signaling higher beef costs.

Cattle inventories as of July 1 fell to the lowest for the date since records began in 1973, the Department of Agriculture data said last week. Gains in consumer spending helped the economy rebound more than forecast in the second quarter, according to government figures Wednesday. Retail ground beef and boneless sirloin-steak costs rose to all-time highs in June, Bureau of Labor Statistics data show.
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