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Shrinking cattle supply fuels Wagyu shortage fears

Matsuzaka beef, a variety of Wagyu, on sale in Tokyo.

TOKYO -- Soaring feed prices and damage from the 2011 earthquake are among the factors driving Wagyu breeders from the business, leading to record cattle prices and concerns over maintaining a stable supply.

     As of December, the average market price of Japanese Black steers and cows was 548,776 yen ($5,218) a head, according to Agriculture & Livestock Industries Corp. -- up 24% on the year and the highest since data collection began in 1994.

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