HIGH PRICES: Meat Up Across The Counter

The nice weather signals grilling season for many of us.

However, the price you pay at the meat counter is going to be a lot higher than it’s been in years.

John Brooks has been in the family business at B&B Grocery for years.

It’s fair to say he’s seen it all, but this year’s high prices weren’t a happy sight.

“New York Strip retails at $9.99 a pound, you want to buy the whole strip you save $1 a pound but that’s still almost double what it was two years ago,” says John Brooks.

Meat prices are high all across the counter.

According to the Iowa Farm Bureau Cattle slaughter is down, leaving ground beef selling for 40 percent more than a year ago and rib eyes up nine percent.

The same can be seen for pork.

Hog slaughter is down four percent. Ham is selling 53 percent higher and chops are up 14 percent.

“Beef production is down almost six percent this year compared to a year ago and it`s the lowest in about 30 or 40 years. We`ve got the lowest cattle slaughter going on in about 50 years,” says Iowa Farm Bureau’s Director of Research and Commodity Dave Miller.

Miller says the high beef prices are because of the 2011-2012 droughts catching up with us, pork prices saw a spike because of a virus epidemic killing off swine.

The guys at B&B Grocery have steadily noticed the price of beef creeping up toward the five dollar mark.

Selling at $4.59 a pound, ground beef is now up there with the premium cuts.

“Ground beef is a staple, but now it`s almost a luxury, which is hard to fathom. We try to maintain a certain level but you can`t sell it for the profit margin that you should or it would be even more,” says Brooks.

While both beef and pork prices are high, chicken is at the lowest price it’s been all year.

Experts say meat usually hits its peak price for the year in June. However, experts don’t expect the prices to drop much after that.