Tight inventories seen raising cattle prices  Rising food costs are being spurred by a shortage in supply, according to a published report.

Bloomberg reports that as of July 1, data indicates that the U.S. cattle heard likely hit its lowest levels ever. Industry analysts assert that rapidly dwindling inventories are fueling price gains across the board as herders to pay hefty feed costs.

The higher beef prices are affecting the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI), as well as those of a number of other countries. Companies like Wendy's and Tyson Foods that deal heavily in meats are also beginning to offset the rising price of meat onto consumers.

According to estimates by analysts, ranchers held 99.39 million head of cattle as of July 1, which is down 1.4 percent from year-ago levels. That figure is the smallest ever recorded since the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) began collecting data in 1973.

The government said it will release official data on Friday afternoon.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Friday at 11:45 a.m., live cattle futures were up 0.65 percent to trade at $1.16 per pound.
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