Coleman Allied

Even if you are new to Dallas, you know that beef production is important to the Texas economy. After Dallas movers have left, most families will find that they need to eat out at restaurants until they get settled into their new place.

Well there is good news/bad news for beef producers - and that news is not good for restaurants and consumers.

With beef prices expected to increase by 10 percent this summer, producers and sellers are worrying their product could become a luxury as meat market and restaurant menu prices spike. They worry that consumers will turn to pork and chicken in order to save money.

Restaurants hate raising their prices at a time when customers are already getting squeezed by higher prices at the pump. At the same time, restaurants have to make a profit to stay in business and each month the cost of everything in the kitchen is going up.

Retail beef prices have risen by an average of $1 per pound since 2007. And prices for cattle have jumped by as much as 25 percent in the past two years as the nation's herd dropped to its lowest level in six decades.

For beef producers, rising prices are bittersweet.

The high prices could wedge U.S. producers — including those in Texas — out of the market. Although beef prices naturally rise in the summer when demand peaks, a 10 percent increase in time for grilling season would open the door for foreign beef producers — namely Mexico and Canada — to profit from the U.S. demand for beef.

(Photo attributed to Flickr member @moonpiedigit via the Creative Commons license.)

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