A report from the CME Group on the USDA's December forecasts indicates that Americans will consume 12.2 percent less meat and poultry products in 2012 than they did in 2007. The group also added that the trend is not likely to change soon.

“The drop to 165.5 pounds in 2012 will be driven by lower beef and chicken supplies,” the report states. “The latter of those may level off in 2013 but beef output will almost certainly decline again with the total very likely falling below the 162.9 of 1973 and quite possibly reaching the 161 of ‘66.”

The reasons for the decline include growing exports, higher costs (including the increase in corn prices as ethanol production ramps up) and the fruition of more than 30 years of government policy.

If the federal government and its agencies decide to wage war on a product and continue that war for long enough, it will eventually have an impact,” the report states. “And the feds have indeed waged war on meat protein consumption for many years. Add in the efforts of a large number of non-governmental agencies that oppose meat consumption for reasons ranging from the environment to animal rights to social justice and one could conclude that it was amazing that consumption held up as long as it did.”

For more information, view the report at http://www.dailylivestockreport.com/documents/dlr%2012-20-2011.pdf.

Source: The CME Group