KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Net income for US Premium Beef dropped $26.5 million to $8.9 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2012 ending Nov. 26. The marketing cooperative realized net income of $35.4 million in the same year-ago period.

The increase in average cattle prices resulted in decreased gross processing margins, which contributed to the decrease in net income. However, demand for beef products bolstered sales, according to Steve Hunt, chief executive officer.

"Regarding the first quarter fiscal year of 2012 results, our sales were higher primarily from an increase in the net sales per head compared to the same period in the prior year, as the demand for beef products remained strong, and the price of beef products increased during the period," Hunt told USAgNet.