The USDA’s Changes in Food Price Indexes shows the price of meat has not substantially changed so far this year, but a jump is coming as grilling season begins.
The latest report by the Economic Research Service reveals beef, pork and poultry will be increase by three-to-four percent. Meat prices were 3.6 percent higher in 2012, led by beef which increased by 10.2 percent in 2011 and another 6.4 percent in 2012.
Pork prices were relatively steady in 2012, increasing by 0.3 percent during the year.
Spring usually prompts higher meat prices as consumers begin grilling season, however the demand has been delayed with winter storms moving across the country.
Last week’s Cattle on Feed report shows shrinking feedlot inventories with fewer placements in every weight category from the year before. The tight supplies have led cattle futures to charge higher in three of the last four sessions.
Money spent on food away from home is expected to increase this year by about 3 percent to remain in line with growth over the previous two years.