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Officials with the Defense Commissary Agency, European Region, expect noticeable increases in beef prices, which have already begun to show up at stores in the States.

The increase is due to a rise in demand.

Americans — including military families — are consuming a lot of beef, according to a DECA news release. Beef sales in commissaries worldwide are up 5 percent since 2002.

Due to a six-week delivery window, current prices will stay in effect until mid-November, said John Hoca, DECA Europe’s central meat processing manager.

“After that, beef prices are sure to increase, but to what extent and how long the higher price environment will last is impossible to predict,” Hoca said in the DECA release.

“Our beef supplier has told us they expect prices to begin to decline by the end of December or the first of January, but because of the current volatility of the beef market, they can make no guarantees.”

According to Gerri Young, public affairs officer for DECA Europe, a combination of factors have contributed to the increased demand for U.S. beef, including periodic bans on foreign beef due to “mad cow disease” scares, weather and marketing conditions.

In the United States, beef sales have seen a steady increase, according to Paul Slayton, executive director of the Pennsylvania Beef Council.

“Beef demand has been going up for the past five years,” he said.

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