In a report on retail pork prices released today (Dec. 21, 2021), economists with Iowa State University, North Carolina State University and the National Pork Producers Council found that pork prices, not industry profits, are rising. Prices are rising due to increased transportation costs, supply bottlenecks and delays and increased labor costs throughout the pork chain. Those factors, said Iowa State’s Dermot Hayes, NC State’s Barry Goodwin and NPPC’s Holly Cook, were either caused or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Although there are significant food production, processing and distribution challenges,” said Iowa State’s Hayes, “there are likely no permanent, structural barriers in the way of getting back to cheaper food. It is unclear whether the same can be said about energy prices, wage inflation and other current challenges.”