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Meat prices rising this summer

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 10:19 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The price of meat typically goes up during the summer, but many people are noticing significantly higher prices.

It’s sticker shock....at every stop. Comparing costs at local grocery stores shows a nice steak to grill ranges from 13 to over 24 dollars a pound these days. A price pinch felt at chains.... and local butcher shops.

“Some of the grind cuts are up 60 percent,” said Chriss Smiley, President Smiley Brother’s Specialty Food. “It’s not always an apples to apples comparison, but I can tell you in all of my years of experience this is the most expensive I’ve seen.”

Prices of beef typically rise during the summer because more people are grilling, but add the market dealing with the pandemic and labor shortages, the most recent cyber attack of major meat processing company JBS, and hold on to your pocketbook.

“Haven’t seen the price spikes yet, I was told we’d see it this week. We use boutique packers, but we’ll be impacted because of the sheer size of the company and impact on the market.”

Staff at Smiley Brother’s Specialty Food said they altered the deli menu as prices started to creep up over the last few months and tried to limit passing off costs to customers as long as possible. The company president says until the backlogs are worked through in the supply chain we could be in for a long ride.

“Don’t expect any significant easing until the end of the summer and that’s what I’m being told,” said Smiley. “I hope that I’m wrong.”

Experts say prices could also fluctuate based on the cost of corn, which is used to feed cattle. If those prices rise, it could further impact what we pay. Some good news though, at the end of last week JBS announced all of its global facilities are fully operational.

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