Beef and veal prices rose by 5.4 percent between September 2011 and September 2012, according to the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) data from USDA. The index for all food increased by 1.6 percent during the same period.
The index for pork prices declined by 2.7 percent over the past 12 months, while the index for poultry increased by 4.8 percent. The index for all meats, poultry and fish increased by 2.1 percent during the same period.
For 2012, USDA projects the CPI for beef and veal will increase by 3.5 to 4.5 percent, while the index for all food will increase by 2.5 to 3.5 percent. But while beef and veal prices have increased more than those for other foods over the past year, the 2012 price hike falls well short of that during 2011, when the CPI for beef and veal climbed by 10.2 percent.
Fats and oils are another category experiencing higher prices, with the index rising 3.8 percent from September 2011 through September 2012. The agency projects an annual increase of 5 to 6 percent in the CPI for fats and oils for 2012, largely due to higher soybean prices as a result of the drought. Like meats however, this year’s increase in fat and oil prices is less extreme than that of 2011, when the CPI increased by 9.3 percent.