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Keeping Kosher and Benefiting from Cheap Pork

DESCRIPTIONPhoto: dutchboy

The Economist reports that pork prices have plunged 24 percent in the past year, partly because the demand for U.S. pork exports has dropped sharply. I don’t eat pork, so how does this help me?
With a lower price of pork, the quantity demanded will rise, as people shift into this now-cheaper meat. And that will shift the demand curve leftward in related markets, including pork substitutes, such as beef and perhaps even chicken. Since I eat those, I will benefit indirectly from the drop in pork prices.
Furthermore, the drop in pork prices may be a long-run phenomenon, since one reason for it is a set of technological improvements in pig-raising. With lower long-run average costs, prices will remain lower than they were last year for quite a while. That means that my benefits will continue even without any efficiency gains among beef and chicken producers. (Related: sugar prices are way up.)