No, there’s not a bacon shortage. But pork prices are soaring and here’s why
By Tanasia Kenney, The Charlotte Observer (NC)
October 07, 2021
Bringing home the bacon is no easy feat these days as pork prices reach record levels, spiking nearly 30% compared to this time last year, according to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The breakfast staple is selling for $7 a pound for the first time in a decade, Consumer Price Index data show, and industry experts say more “moderate” pricing isn’t likely until well into 2022.
Supply chain snarls, shortages and other problems driven by the COVID-19 pandemic have touched every industry from lumber and gas, to food service and adult entertainment. Now, it’s meat.
So what’s driving the latest hike in pork prices?
“Consumer demand is number one,” Steve Meyer, an economist with Partners For Production Agriculture, told McClatchy News, noting that demand for pork has been strong since coronavirus restrictions began to loosen over the summer.
“People, I think, through the COVID shut down discovered that pork is a great value because when they had to go to a grocery store and buy product, they could actually compare pork to beef and chicken, which you don’t get to do much (when dining) at restaurants,” Meyer said.
A decrease in hogs has also “tightened” the pork supply, he said, citing the ongoing impacts of the pandemic and another viral disease known as PRRS (porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome) that affects swine breeding and production.
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