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    Meat Prices Will Continue to Climb, Says USDA

    Prices projected to jump 6 percent to 7 percent this year over 2010

    In a revised forecast Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said meat prices will continue to climb this year.

    Retail prices have been on the rise as animal supplies decrease, exports grow, and feed-grain costs soar.

    The USDA said meat prices will jump 6 percent to 7 percent this year over 2010, up from its March 25 forecast for a 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent increase.

    Beef prices are projected to jump 7 percent to 8 percent, which is a notable increase from the government's March estimate of a 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent rise. Beef prices are already running 12 percent higher than they were in 2010.

    Pork prices, which gained more than other meats last year, will be a half-percentage point higher, rising 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent over 2010.

    The USDA did not revise its food-at-home inflation forecast, which projects grocery-store prices to run 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent more than they did a year ago.

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