(BLOOMBERG) — In the U.S., the country that made the hamburger a global icon of American fast-food cuisine, beef is about to fall another spot on the meat scale.
For the past two decades, chicken has outranked beef as the most produced meat, and now pork is about to surpass it as well. Hog herds have rebounded from a deadly virus last year, while record-high meat prices and cheaper feed led to breeding of more sows and bigger pigs. As pork output in 2015 jumps 4.6 percent to a record, cattle ranchers have yet to recover from a 2012 drought, and beef production is headed for a 22-year low, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates.
When porcine epidemic diarrhea virus killed millions of piglets across the country in 2014, prices for bacon and pork chops surged to all-time highs as supplies tightened. With more hogs arriving in recent months and demand increasing, costs are dropping for buyers including Domino’s Pizza Inc. and Hormel Foods Corp.
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