November CPI For Meats Keeps Growing

The Consumer Price Index for meats shows a strong rise all year, and the trend keeps growing, according to the monthly report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

November CPI data showed a 6.8% increase from last year to 277.9 for All Items, making November the month with the fastest growth rate since June 1982, which rose 7.1%, said the Livestock Marketing Information Center’s letter to Extension Agents called the Livestock Monitor.

Although growth was the fastest in nearly four decades, it still was slower than during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, which were well above 6% with several months recording double digit growth, the LMIC said.




The Food CPI grew by 6.1% to 285.5 in November, the fastest rate since October 2008’s 6.3%, the LMIC said.  Much of the growth in the Food CPI likely was driven by surging meat and poultry prices as indicated by the Meat and Poultry CPI.

The Meat CPI continued its double-digit growth with November 16.0% above last year to 316.5, the LMIC said.  During the pandemic, the Meat CPI grew 16.7%.  This still was slower than growth rates of the late 1970’s, which reached into the 20% range for several months.

The Poultry CPI grew 8.4% to 267.5, which was just below the 8.7% increase in June 2020 during the pandemic, the LMIC said.

November choice retail beef prices were $7.85 a pound, down $0.05 from October’s record high of $7.90, the LMIC said.  Prices for ground beef, roast, round and sirloin remained elevated in November at $4.72, $7.27, $7.40 and $11.51 per pound, respectively.

Retail pork prices continued to climb in November reaching $4.82 a pound, marking the eighth straight month of record retail pork prices, the LMIC said.  Boneless hams reached a record of $4.94 a pound while bacon and chops remained elevated at $7.27 and $4.43, respectively.

The broiler composite retail price hit a record of $2.21 per pound in November, the fifth consecutive record month.




The November CPI for All Items, Food, Meat, and Poultry were at some of the highest growth rates in decades. November retail pork and poultry prices reached record levels again while retail beef prices were the third highest on record. As the holiday season is right around the corner and 2021 draws to a close, consumers are likely starting to feel the effects of inflation and record high meat prices. Moving into 2022, inflation will continue to be in the forefront and likely pose as a headwind for meat demand.




The USDA reported formula and contract base prices for live FOB steers and heifers this week ranged from $136.23 to $137.27 per cwt, compared with last week’s range of $137.09 to $138.34.  FOB dressed steers and heifers went for $214.38 to $214.44 per cwt, versus $216.25 to $219.76.

The USDA choice cutout Monday was up $1.65 per cwt at $264.59, while select was up $2.23 at $255.18.  The choice/select spread narrowed to $9.41 from $9.99 with 95 loads of fabricated product and 21 loads of trimmings and grinds sold into the spot market.

The USDA reported Monday that basis bids for corn from livestock feeding operations in the Southern Plains were unchanged at $1.35 to $1.45 a bushel over the Mar futures and for southwest Kansas were unchanged at $0.40 over Mar, which settled at $6.14 3/4 a bushel, up $0.09.

No delivery intentions were posted against the Dec live cattle contract Monday.

The CME Feeder Cattle Index for the seven days ended Friday was $159.14 per cwt down $0.08.  This compares with Monday’s Jan contract settlement of $162.40 per cwt, down $1.05.