Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer BBQ’s - getting more expensive.

Washington--In a revised forecast, the U.S. Agricultural Department says consumers will see higher prices for ground beef and steak at the supermarket. Retail prices have surged the last nine months as animal supplies shrink, exports grow and feed-grain costs soar.

Overall, the USDA said meat prices will climb 6% to 7% this year compared to last, up from its March 25 forecast for a 4.5% to 5.5% increase.

Beef prices are projected to jump 7% to 8%, up sharply from the government’s March estimate of a 4.5% to 5.5% rise. Beef prices are already running 12% higher than they were a year ago.

Pork prices, which gained more than other meats last year, will be a half-percentage point higher, rising 6.5% to 7.5% over 2010.

The USDA left unchanged its food-at-home inflation forecast that calls for grocery-store prices to run 3.5% to 4.5% more than they did a year ago.

Meat makers have benefited from a recipe of lower supplies and higher prices, following a painful restructuring when corn prices spiked in 2008.

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