USDA: Meat, Poultry Prices to Rise Even Higher in 2013 -- Thanks to Drought

By Patrick Burke | November 29, 2012 | 4:22 PM EST

Woman shops at supermarket meat aisle. (AP photo)

( -- U.S. Department of Agriculture economists are predicting that the price of meat, poultry and other farm products will continue to rise in 2013, thanks largely to the drought.

Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) consumer price indexes, the price of meat rose 0.5 percent, the price of pork rose 0.2 percent and the price of poultry products rose 1.5 percent from September to October -- amid the largest month-to-month price increase of all “food-at-home” items in 2012.

“The October CPI data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reflect the first discernible price impacts of the drought. For most foods it remains too soon for higher commodity prices to affect retail prices,” according to USDA’s Economic Research Service.

“Although economists cannot say with certainty that the current prices are a direct effect from of drought, retail prices of meat products such as poultry are expected to be hit first,” the USDA added.

The price of poultry, which went up by 5.5 percent between Oct. 2011 and 2012, is expected to go up between 5 and 6 percent during 2013, according to USDA forecasts.

Beef and veal products are expected to rise by 5.5-6.5 percent in 2013 and the price of pork will likely go up by 1-2 percent.