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Meat prices are going up but not as fast as in 2021

Beef and pork prices are going up again this year but the increases will not be as severe as last year, said the USDA on Tuesday. The monthly Food Price Outlook reported that beef and pork prices would rise by 3.5% for the year, and that “Upward pressures on meat prices are expected to ease in the latter half of 2022.”

Last year, beef prices at the supermarket spiked by 9.3% and pork by 8.6%, far above the average annual increases of 4.4% for beef and 2.2% for pork. Persistently high meat prices, reflecting strong demand and COVID-19 outbreaks at packing plants, were a contributor to the second year in a row of higher-than-average food inflation. More than $1 of every $5 in grocery spending is for meat, according to USDA data.

USDA economists say overall food inflation will return to its long-term average of around 2.5% this year. Aside from meat, they said, “Price increases are expected to more closely align with 20-year averages for most other food groups.”

Produced with FERN, non-profit reporting on food, agriculture, and environmental health.
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