Meat prices climb on high demand and supply constraints
Strong consumer demand for meat and labor shortages at packing plants were factors in persistently high meat prices this year, said the USDA on Tuesday in a monthly report on food inflation.
Meat prices were forecast to climb by 6.5% this year, double its long-term average of 3.2% annually.
“Prices have been driven up by strong domestic and international demand, labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, and high feed and other input costs,” said the USDA. “Concentration and capacity constraints within the meat industry could also affect prices.”
Pork was forecast to rise in price by 7.5%, beef by 8%, and poultry by 4.5%.
Eggs were forecast to rise by 4% partly due to high foreign demand, especially in South Korea and nearby countries that battled avian influenza earlier this year.
Fruits and vegetable prices would rise by a near-normal 3%.