July 4th barbecues will cost more this year

Meat prices are rising overall, even as pork declines. Veggies, too, are higher now than in 2012.

By Jonathan Berr Jun 25, 2013 6:47AM
Barbecue © Michael Hitoshi, Digital Vision, Getty ImagesThinking of having a 4th of July barbecue? Better be ready to dig deeper in your wallet.

As of May, meat prices were up 0.6% over year ago, led by a 5.6% gain in chicken, according to government data. Ground beef prices are up 1.1% and are at record levels in inflated-adjusted terms, according to Richard Voipe, an economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"We are definitely seeing consumers buying more poultry," said Volpe in an interview with MSN moneyNOW. "Meat supplies remain tight, more so for ground beef."

Indeed, data from the USDA show that the cost of a home-cooked cheeseburger was $2.07 as of April, a 61% gain since 2000. Other food-at-home prices have surged 41% during that same period.

Prices, though, are starting to soften. According to Bloomberg News, demand for beef is slowing as consumers switch to lower-cost chicken and pork. Pork prices have actually dropped by 0.2% as exports tumbled. Demand pegged to the coming July Fourth holiday has probably been factored into these prices.

"While wholesale beef dropped 6 percent in the past four weeks to $1.9869 a pound, pork fetched $1.0698 a pound and chicken cost $1.0575, according to government data," the news service said.

Consumers, though, should consider themselves lucky. Food inflation has been worse. Prices for beef and veal are forecast to increase between 3% to 4% this year, down from the 6.4% increase seen in 2012. Poultry prices may jump 3% to 4% as well, which is below the 5.5% increase seen last year.

Even vegetarians can't escape higher prices. After falling 5.1% last year, fresh vegetables are expected to gain 4% to 5% this year.

Follow Jonathan Berr on Twitter @jdberr.

More on moneyNOW

Tags: Economy
Jun 25, 2013 9:26AM
The problem is, they're not reporting the exact amount of inflation. The news report we had here was beef was up 6% and chicken was up 25%, which I can believe more than .6% and 5.6%. When we have a "sale" on strip steak it's $9.99 a pound, a whole $2.00/lb. off. Lean ground beef goes on sale for $4.99/lb. My paycheck has stayed the same for 6 years because of the "economy", but somehow government has managed to keep pace with inflation with their mandatory 5% increase each year, after they voted in their 65% increase. Sure wish I could vote to increase my salary 65%, I might be able to have the spending power I had 6 years ago.
Jun 25, 2013 8:52AM
I am going to take out a second mortgage to fill my car's tank and buy a couple rib eyes.
Might as well have fun before the next collapse.

Jun 25, 2013 8:47AM
July 4th?????? Its just become another flippin' day of the week to struggle through.

Now 25-30 years ago it held some significance but now, nope. Its just like Thanksgiving or CHristmas, people just want to make it through the week and can't wait till its past.

Jun 25, 2013 9:06AM

I love articles like this. Yesterday I seen one that said GAS PLUMMETED 4 CENTS TODAY! I thought really? 4 cents is a plummet? How can gas inch up 45 cents then plummet 4 cents. Give me a break. Also BEEF is what OVER PRICED for dinner. I still have a wild hog hind quarter and about 5 deer steaks left over from hunting season I will be cooking up for July 4th. I`m not buying into their stupidity. If I did have to buy meat it would be pork country ribs. Boil them in beer then onto the grill for some mesquite smoking, You cant go wrong there. Better than steak.

Jun 25, 2013 8:49AM
Thank you President Obama and all who voted for him!
Jun 25, 2013 8:52AM
Is that kid trying to pull out his tongue with those tongs?
Jun 25, 2013 8:47AM
Eh, if they can't raise the speculation on gas, by god they'll get you with the food prices.
Jun 25, 2013 9:58AM

Just where do these IDIOTS get their information?.


Pork and chicken prices have been going UP not down, for the last 9 months. We USE to get nice country style ribs last year, for $.89 lb for bone in and $1.09 lb for boneless. all thru the fall and winter the prices have gone up each and every week. Now they are $1.79 lb and $1.99 lb.

Same for chicken.

Crappy 73% lean ground chuck (I think faces, legs, tails and most organ meat now constitute CHUCK) is $3.49 lb ON SALE!.


Wonder if BAMMER eats this SH!T?.

Jun 25, 2013 9:47AM
That pic is from China and his comment to his son is as follows  (The American Jobs we took supplied this delicious BBQ so remember son  DONT SPEND MONEY YOU DONT HAVE and never trust a Greedy corrupt Politician from a so called REPUBLIC ! hahahaha...............
Jun 25, 2013 8:19AM
WAIT !!!!!! Ben said there is NO inflation people ! LMFAO ..Because wall street uses that fuzzy math for everything ... Even the ptcture of the family in this post is non American ....
Jun 25, 2013 9:31AM

What is 4th of JULY?? STRUGGLE!!


Jun 25, 2013 10:32AM

A good deal of the price increase you are seeing is a direct result of all the illegal voters, libs and demoncraps.  Why you ask, because of all the mandates directing minimums of corn (i.e., feed) to be used for inefficient water wasting ethanol it has forced the markets to adjust. 


Oh, I forgot.  The illegals, libs and demoncraps don't care because many of them get automatic adjustments from the government.  That is more from your check given to them.


If the producers around the world have bad growing seasons for whatever reason and the dollar keeps loosing value then the b.s. numbers posted in this article are nothing compared to what's coming.


Are you enjoying obummers Amerika?  



Jun 25, 2013 10:43AM
The U.S. government will lie to us (with a strait face) every day.
Jun 26, 2013 9:56AM
hold on, it gets worse. next july 4th you are gonna have to pay for 3 or 4 carbon credits under the new obama cap and trade plan just to fire up your damn grill. and there will be no escape, as obamas drones will be overhead amonitorin everybodies back yard.
Jun 26, 2013 9:18AM

Why celebrate "independence day" if you can no longer afford it.

If you can, quit yer bitchin' and eat yer mush, if you didn't grow it,

then you can't put a price on it.

Jun 25, 2013 9:00AM
saph500: sorry they aren't your stereotypical white father and son combo, but some of these individuals are more american than the rednecks in my town. I just think its ridiculous, that you can sit there and make fun of the fact that these are Americans yet because they are of Asian descent it's okay for you guys to poke fun. This **** is ridiculous anyways, people will spend money on BBQ regardless of the cost. If you can't afford it, you can't afford it. Go dig a garden people.
Jun 25, 2013 8:44AM
Is that Mu Shu pork or General Tso's chicken they have on the barbie
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