SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — A trip to the meat counter just keeps getting more expensive.
In a revised forecast Monday, the U.S. Agricultural Department indicated that consumers will see higher price tags on a package of ground beef or steak at the supermarket. Retail prices have been surging the last nine months as animal supplies shrink, exports grow and feed-grain costs soar.
Get used to higher price tags for meat at supermarket.
Overall, the USDA said meat prices will climb 6% to 7% this year over 2010, 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.
The rising price of corn and short supplies could have ripple effects across the country and the world. Click on the link below for more on this story.