The FAO’s global meat price index for June soared to new heights last month, up a deceptively small 1.7%. A small increase, yes, but it was enough to bring the monthly average to 124.7 points, a new record and a whopping 12.7% higher than June of last year.
Poultry prices lead the pack with the greatest surge in price. This comes from the now ubiquitously tight global supply problems stemming from lockdowns and a war in Ukraine, along with the now widespread outbreak of HPAI, which has killed millions of chickens worldwide.
Beef prices were affected by the lifting of Chinese import restrictions imposed on Brazil, and rose accordingly. Also affected by import changes were pork prices, which moved up as several countries took advantage of the quieting-down of Chinese importing. China is a massive consumer of pork, but purchases have been low as of late and it has created a vacuum.
The higher cost of meat has been noticed by consumers. Many have cut down on their weekly meat consumption, while others are trading down to lesser quality cuts. The same can be said of restaurants, which have had to scramble to find creative ways of making quality dishes from less prestigious meats, a prominent example being the switch from chicken breast to thigh.
It is unlikely that a new record will be set in July, but one thing everyone has learned in the last two years is that almost anything can happen. We’ll find out in a few weeks.