USAgNet - September 21, 2010
U.S. supermarket bacon prices climbed to a record for the third consecutive month in August as the shrinking livestock herd and stronger demand led to shortages of some pork cuts. CattleNetwork.com
reports that bacon averaged $4.353 a pound at retail during August, up from $4.213 in July, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said in its monthly Consumer Price Index report today. That was up 21
percent from $3.588 a year earlier and the highest month average, unadjusted for inflation, in records going back to 1980.
The surge in pork prices this year follows widespread herd contraction among the nation's pork producers after corn prices soared to records above $7 a bushel in 2008. Livestock producers cut inventory as
the spike in feed costs, combined with the recession, led to swelling losses.
As supplies of slaughter-ready animals declined and exports grew, domestic meatpackers were forced to bid more aggressively, leading to a near-doubling in hog prices since the 2009 summer, based on
A similar phenomenon played out in the beef industry, meaning consumers probably will be paying more at the grocery meat case for some time, economists say.