LAKEWOOD, Colo. — The monthly USDA ERS Meat Price Spread data for March showed retail beef prices remain elevated while pork and chicken retail prices hit record levels.
Retail beef prices were $7.67 per pound in March, up $1.20 or 18.6% from a year earlier. The strong retail beef price was driven by a record ground beef price of $4.76 per pound, up 17.7% or $0.72 from 2021. The chuck and round roasts were $6.99 and $6.30 per pound, respectively, up 14.8% and 11.9%. In March, stew beef was the second highest price on record at $7.16 per pound, up 24.3% but below the record of $7.36 in December 2021. Sirloin steaks increased 16.7% from last year to $10.66 per pound but were a dollar below the record level of $11.65 set in October 2021.
Retail pork prices set a new record high of $4.84 per pound in March, an increase of 16.1% or $0.67 from last year. In 2021, retail pork prices initially reached a record of $4.32 per pound in April. For the next eight consecutive months (April-November) prices set new record highs before a slightly decline between December 2021 and February 2022 when prices averaged $4.75 per pound. The strong pace in retail pork prices is reflected in pork cuts. Bone-in chops set a record price of $4.68 per pound (up 15%). Boneless hams were also a record price in March, up 7.5% to $5.15 per pound. Boneless ham prices have set records for the last three consecutive months. Bacon prices were $7.20 per pound, a 23.1% or $1.35 rise from the prior year.
In March, the retail broiler price was the second highest on record at $1.72 per pound, an 11.7% or $0.18 increase from a year ago. For the retail broiler composite price, a record was set in March at $2.32 per pound, rising 15.5% ($0.31) from last year. The broiler composite price is defined as the “retail value of the composite wholesale value for broilers.” Strength in retail broiler prices was due to record setting prices for bone-in chicken legs and boneless chicken breast. Bone-in chicken legs increased 16.9% ($0.27) to a record price of $1.83 per pound. Boneless chicken breast set a record price of $3.87 per pound in March, up 17.6% or $0.58. Eggs were $2.04 per dozen which is 25.9% above a year earlier but well below the record high of $2.97 during the 2014/15 highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak.
Milk prices reached the second highest level in March to $3.92 per gallon which is up 17% from last year and just below the record price of $3.96. Both American and Cheddar cheese prices were down 3.9% and 3.4%, respectively, from a year ago to $3.98 and $5.49 per pound.
State Extension Services in Cooperation with the USDA
Currently, 26 state Extension services participate in the LMIC – Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
USDA members of the LMIC represent one of eight Federal partner agencies. Those participating agencies are the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), Economic Research Service (ERS), Farm Credit Administration (FCA), Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), and World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB).
— Livestock Marketing Information Center