Soaring Food Inflation Full Frontal: Beef, Pork And Shrimp Prices Soar To Record Highs

Tyler Durden's picture

We previously noted that both beef and pork (courtesy of the affectionately named Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus) prices have been reaching new all time highs on an almost daily basis. It is time to update the chart. Below we show what a world in which the Fed is constantly lamenting the lack of inflation looks like for beef prices...


... pork


... and shrimp.

More from Bloomberg:

Prices for shrimp have jumped to a 14-year high in recent months, spurred by a disease that’s ravaging the crustacean’s population. At Noodles & Co., a chain with locations across the country, it costs 29 percent more to add the shellfish to pastas this year, and shrimp-heavy dishes at places like the Cheesecake Factory Inc. are going up as well.


Restaurant chains, already struggling with shaky U.S. consumer confidence, are taking a profit hit as prices climb. Even worse, the surge is happening during the season of Lent, when eateries rely on seafood to lure Christian diners who abstain from chicken, beef and pork on certain days.


“It’s coming at a tough time for the industry,” said Andrew Barish, a San Francisco-based analyst at Jefferies LLC. “With the Lenten season, what you’ll see out there is a lot of promotions with seafood, and usually shrimp is a big part of that.”


In March, shrimp prices jumped 61 percent from a year earlier, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The climb is mainly due to a bacterial disease known as early mortality syndrome. While the ailment has no effect on humans, it’s wreaking havoc on young shrimp farmed in Southeast Asia, shrinking supplies.




James Johnson, a Jewel-Osco supermarket shopper in Chicago, has noticed the price increase. He’s been cutting back on one of his favorite dishes -- shrimp and potato soup -- because of the cost.


“I haven’t made it in a while,” the 29-year-old said. “Shrimp looks expensive.”



At Noodles, it now costs $3.34 to add the shellfish to a meal of pasta or pad thai, compared with $2.59 last year.


“We still want to at least offer it as choice,” Chief Executive Officer Kevin Reddy said in a phone interview. “As soon as the costs begin to normalize, we’ll return to the regular price.”

Ah yes, because retailers are always so willing to lower costs...

So for all those whose sustenance includes iPads and LCD TVs, or heaven forbid the pink slime known as fast food - you are in luck: the BLS' hedonic adjustments mean the rate of price increase in your daily consumption has rarely been lower. For everyone else: our condolences.


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Update: Eggs too.

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Key-Rick's picture

Me too. Just finished filling my belly with shrimp I caught in January and then sat down to this article. Tough luck, sheeple. And the pelagics are running like crazy here in Florida too. I've got at least a dozen 1/2 pints canned up. Had a mackerel salad sandwich for breakfast. Better than tuna and no cost (other than fuel, etc., but those are costs that get incurred regardless).

CoastalCowboy's picture

Can't bait in Georgia, but sinking catfish food pellets work the treat.  I'm just saying.  wink wink

OceanX's picture

Ya'll better add medical supplies to your list of " BASIC Necessities"

OceanX's picture

Ya'll better add medical supplies to your list of " BASIC Necessities"

TheReplacement's picture

Don't forget brass and edged steel.

Chuck Walla's picture

Out here in farm country, what pigs get is the Bloody Scours.



Ein Volk, Ein Barack, Ein Reich!

Seer's picture

PEDv, up to now, only affects pigletts.  This, of course, puts a big dent in getting a volumes of animals to market weight (impacts price).

Biosecurity IS necessary.  It's one thing that just scares the shit out of me.  Pigs are susceptable to most things that humans are susceptable to: kind of sucks when you're a small farmer because you really can't get sick with colds/flu lest you pass it to your pigs (nothing like trying to recover from colds/flu and having extra work to do in catering to sick animals).

CosmicDebris's picture

"Let them eat cake......"


....or Facebook.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Let them eat euthanized, radioactive Desert Tortoise.

scrappy's picture

Glowing Fuku-Shrimp Cakes are on Sale!

Jumbotron's picture

Thank God they started making Twinkies again.

El Oregonian's picture

...Or, better stated: "Let them eat FAKE..."

surf0766's picture

Paying less on entitlement programs was the outcome they wanted from the Boskin Comission

max2205's picture

Theys a lot of people wiping BP oil off all that shrimp before you eat it

Enjoy y'all

Say What Again's picture

Agreed.  And once again, the sheep didn't pay attention.

Silver Bug's picture

But wait a second? Obama says there is NO inflation!? /end sarcasm

WhackoWarner's picture

Only time I really spend any $ on food is to restock my freezers and shelves and only, only when they are having store-wide sales here.

Last month the sale price of lean ground beef was 1/2 of the NEW price 3 days later when the sale was over.  Tell anyone who shops regularly, over the past 2-3 years that inflation is not present. I will call them liars.

db51's picture

Lean ground beef.....maybe I should get some pics of the cull cows going through the sale know...those choice 12 year old bony assed cows that are on their last leg.....heading to a Supermarket near you as Certified Angus.  

NuckingFuts's picture

We just buy whole cows and hogs from small farmers. You spend a lot at one time but seeing freezers full of hundreds of pounds of payed for meat is very reassuring..... Some times I just go to bask in the glow of future rib eyes.

HobbyFarmer's picture

Filled our freezer last fall with our own raised pigs and beef.  Delicious!  We know what the animals ate (and what didn't go into them) and people really appreciated the Christmas baskets we gave out with a variety of different cuts of meat.

I was in the store last weekend and for fun looked at what the cost of various cuts of meat were going's amazing.  Glad we still have several hundred pounds left....and an 19 month old steer who we'll butcher this fall after the grass dies back.

Everybody who can should plant a garden.  I'm helping a buddy at work with his first raised garden bed (4X8).  He's 1) shocked at how much work is required to actually get it up and going, and 2) not believing me about the last frost date and why we don't plant tomatos/peppers on the first day the weather hits 60 degrees.  (60 last weekend, 19 this morning!)  Anyway, it's been fun helping him out.....get started yourselves.  It's harder and more rewarding than you can imagine if you've never tried before.

Abitdodgie's picture

60 last weekend, 19 this morning, you would not be in North Dakota by any chance

countryboy42's picture

My boss paid for the shop to go on a hog hunt in a couple of weeks. I am planning to bring back as much as I can. I just need to buy a freezer, and borrow my friends grinder.

dirtscratcher's picture

I'm with you, hobbyFarmer. I've got two beeves, three hogs, twenty sheep and seven dairy goats on the hoof and about fourty various barnyard fowl roaming around. Also, got several large gardens growing. Makes me feel better than my Kruggies.

DaveyJones's picture

just like small organic and permacultue vegetable farms, small organic farms that integrate animals are exponentially more productive and nutritious than what passes for agriculture today. These small systems work because that is how nature works. Who would have known. Those other systems are not only corrupt and poisononus, they are destined to fail dramatically for they are built on the chemical and oil systems that are also failing dramatically, eradicating topsoil, destroying and depleting groundwater and creating genetic monster plants and animals.   

Lord Koos's picture

As long as the power stays on, it's all good.

WhackoWarner's picture

Power costs are going to go through the roof as well.

Just bought an inverter in prep of buying the battery banks and solar panels.  Every little bit that I can take control away from the utility and from agri-business and from GMO.  Every little step.

laboratorymike's picture

I'm fairly late to this party (just getting out of school), but I'm teaching myself how to solder solar modules + LEDs. It's not expensive to cut your light bill to 0 once you learn how to do rechargeables. Smaller modules are very cheap to buy/stock up on, if you are reading this, broke, and looking for something to get started on. 1-2 months of food comes first though.

Like you said, step by step. The more you can do yourself in a pinch the better.

dirtscratcher's picture

As long as the power stays on, it's all good.--Lord Koos


Not a problem if your meat is live on the hoof. And/or you have photovoltaic systems in place.

WhackoWarner's picture

Know the butcher and have asked.  This is AAA Alberta Beef he buys for all cuts. 

Other option locally here is our prize winning local Hereford rancher.  I see the animals out each and every day; being rotated around free range grass fields.  Of course it is more expensive than supermarket.

At least Canada has, for now, laws regarding antibiotics and beef.  Milk supply etc.

Also I have local farmer for free range hens and turkeys.  Mennonites.

May be more expensive but I think it is coming to my tipping point regarding quality of food.  Grow 90% of my veg organically. Now I will pony up for the ability to access reputable, humanely raised meat.  My choice is that I will spend more on the quality and consume less in quantity. 

This is a choice I think we are all going to face.

Last night?  CBC Canada aired yet another undercover video showing the treatment on chicks at a large Maple Leaf facility.  This is after a previous undercover video showing the treatment of turkeys ar the #1 industry supplier in Canada.

Backlash from the public is long overdue.  So what to do?  Keep prices cheap and subject sentient life to continuous cruelty?  Or become more vegetarian in meal planning.

TruthInSunshine's picture

White face Hereford cattle is my personal favorite breed of beef cattle.

The most humane way to dispatch a large animal is still with a heavy caliber rifle round to center of the brain.

Vegetarians think this is cruel, but as I once (but no longer) tried to explain to them, humans are omnivores per biological fact, we need essential amino acid chains that can only be found in animal protein, an animal harvested by a large caliber rifle round well placed feels no pain, and if they ever witnessed pack animals "harvest" large animals in the wild, which often end up getting partially eaten while still alive ("Nature red in tooth & claw," and such...), I'm a GD Saint by relative standards.

wee-weed up's picture

Just wait till the shit hits the fan and the economy tanks...

There'll be a lot of ravenous "pack animals" (free shit army)...

Roaming about trying to "harvest" us, our children, and our stuff.

Be sure to thank Obozo as you consider this immenent future...

TheMeatTrapper's picture

Yep. I trap my food, and I control every aspect of what my family eats. Best thing is, I get paid to catch supper.

Tonight it's venison backstrap sauteed in butter and coconut oil, topped with a fried egg raised from a customers chickens. 

TruthInSunshine's picture

Venison backstrap, especially when the deer has been feeding on corn, apples and such, is one of the most underappreciated, healthiest, cleanest tasting cuts of meat in the universe.

The other relatively unknown jewels of the animal protein world:

Elk - it's better than beef when prepared properly, IMO.

Quayle - butterflied, marinated for a day, and roasted over open flame or pan seared.

Buffalo - I never understood the spiritual connection Native Americans had with the Bison until I met a real deal Native American Bison rancher, who insisted that I take several dozen pounds of genuine free range Buffalo meat from his herd (as a thank you for a favor) that grazed on grass freely (unlike cattle, Buffalo do not eat the roots of the grasses, and so they don't cause the soil erosion problems that grazing cattle do) and drank some of the cleanest water any animals have access to (both flowing above ground and below, in aquifers filtered by sandstone, limestone, etc. that ended up in wells).

fallout11's picture

Being something of a city boy, I don't normally care much for wild meats, but have had free range buffalo and was absolutely amazed at how delicious and lean/clean it was. Heartily recommended, and can now appreciate the connection plains Indians had for the animal and its place in their cycle of life.

Seer's picture

All well and fine if you can afford to have freezers (take space [I do chest freezers because of their superior efficiency- even use them as chillers, temp controllers to moderate within a higher temp range], take electricity and break down).

Sadly, for many people it's not an option.  I'm fortunate to not be one; my wife, however, is from the Philippines and I can assure you that freezers are a luxury...

Buck Johnson's picture

I know, it's getting nuts and everybody is starting to notice.


SilverRhino's picture

I was in Costco this Sunday .... baby back ribs have gone from $2.99 / pound to $4.49/pound.   USDA Prime sirloin went from $7.99 to $8.99 / pound.  (And yes USDA Prime is MUCH better than USDA Choice)  

Shrimp is still at $5/pound.  Chicken is pretty much flat as well.   


Investment idea :  Buy a deep freezer and spend 500-1000 bucks on meat.   The freezer will pay for itself this year.'s picture

29.99 for Chilean Sea Bass

SilverRhino's picture

I was in Costco this Sunday .... baby back ribs have gone from $2.99 / pound to $4.49/pound.   USDA Prime sirloin went from $7.99 to $8.99 / pound.  (And yes USDA Prime is MUCH better than USDA Choice)  

Shrimp is still at $5/pound.  Chicken is pretty much flat as well.   


Investment idea :  Buy a deep freezer and spend 500-1000 bucks on meat.   The freezer will pay for itself this year. 

CheapBastard's picture

...sounds familiar....mmmmm

caShOnlY's picture

time for america to import some good ol' river pig from china.  lots of protein to keep the average american healthy and buying stawks!!

Babaloo's picture

Wait, is it porcine diarrhea for beef and pork and early mortality for shrimp? Or is it the Fed? Or is Tyler saying the Fed is causing those diseases ?

WhackoWarner's picture

"Sell your soul to the company store".

That is the plan.

Low wages.  Captive renters. No savings.  Just a dollar shy of feeding the family.  At this point no person has a choice anymore.  Back to serfdom.

Constitution First's picture

Fuel costs goes up, food goes up. Health insurance goes up, food goes up. Taxes go up, food goes up.

This isn't rocket science.

We know why fuel, healthcare and taxes are going up, Progressives.

You will have you're chance to fix that in November, or not.