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Sheep growers benefit from low supply, high demand

By Staff | May 6, 2011

LUBBOCK, Texas – Shoppers wanting lamb for Easter dinner will pay more for it this year as prices for the meat have soared.

Demand by U.S. consumers is up and imports are down, which have raised the cost.

About 30 percent of lamb consumed annually in the U.S. is eaten around Easter and Christmas.

Most of the demand increase comes from nontraditional markets that cater to people of Hispanic decent and those from Middle Eastern and African countries, many of whom live in urban areas of the Midwest and Northeast.

About one-third of U.S. sales are through nontraditional markets, which use smaller processing plants, farmer’s markets, direct sales off farms and through local butcher shops. The other two-thirds go through larger commercial plants and supermarket chains.

Lately, nontraditional markets have grown more quickly.

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