LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) -- Tight supplies are expected to keep beef prices high for the next few years.
Average retail prices of beef have climbed from $4.18 per pound in July 2009 to $4.44 per pound last July.
Economists say ranchers and feedlots have reduced supplies, largely in response to rising prices of corn and soybeans fed to cattle.
Texas A&M University livestock economist David Anderson says cattle producers have been hurt by low profits for several years and responded by cutting production.
While U.S. consumption of beef has fallen, exports are up significantly. With prices high, that foreign demand has meant stronger profits for producers.