Retail Choice beef demand declined slightly in the first quarter of 2006 -- down 3-4% from the same time in 2005. But, beef consumption increased slightly to an average of 15.8 lbs./capita for the first quarter -- 1.2% higher than last year.

Retail beef prices -- both Choice and fresh beef -- declined by nearly 5% from 2005. Retail prices for pork and poultry are also down slightly. -- Stephanie Veldman