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.


* * *

Update: Eggs too.

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Seer's picture

That's some seriously funny stuff!  Thank god I was between sips of coffee!

Just Observing's picture

Got acre of garden, small orchard, couple greenhouses, chickens in coop, catfish in two ponds, two feeder pigs in their lot, and 4 Dexter cows ( beef/milk ).   Ask me if I give a shit what food prices do. 

Soul Glow's picture

And then feed the chickens whey from the cows, use the chicken shit as fert for the veggies, and sit back and enjoy a bounty crop.  That's farming.

krispkritter's picture

My fish eat leftover greens and duckweed that grows in shallow pools, they feed the veggies growing above, and in turn become food. Chickens eat the bugs and worms from the beds plus greens(including duckweed), produce eggs and meat. I don't currently have the room for cows but I do for goats so those would provide milk and meat off the forage on my acreage so I'll be adding those.  Other plantings provide fruits, berries, veggies, etc. It's a workin progress.

RafterManFMJ's picture

Hey Giggles sounds to me you're ripe for the confiscatin'. You benefited from life's lottery and should those less fortunate need, and they will, you'll have to contribute your food and or labor.

The legislation's already been passed.

Ask not what your cuntry can do for you, ask instead what you at bayonet point can do for your cuntry.

NotApplicable's picture

Especially if he paid for those greenhouses with those USDA grants everyone keeps telling me I should get.

Which, of course, I didn't.

Fukushima Dome is a privately funded endeavor.

NuckingFuts's picture

We already had two high tunnel green houses when the grants came out... Now we hobbiest competing with us for the same market using .gov monies. Gotta love that. It the plastic that will cost you and most is rated for four years so the mrs. And I predict skeletons of these things dotting the countryside for decades to come. They are nice, if nothing else they keep the deer out. We then invested in a 12K sq. ft. Monster and I sell about 1000 worth of produce a week out of it when it is humming along niclely.

Seer's picture

Doesn't sound like you're able to do the Salatin grazer-follower model :-(  It's good for keeping parasite loads down for the cows/cattle.

"Ask me if I give a shit what food prices do."

If you've only got 4 cows then I'm thinking you don't have a bull on the premise.  There is an issue of "replacement" cost...

robertocarlos's picture

WWI brought us the Soy Sausage. The Germans invented it. They had difficulty at the patent office though because to be called a sausage it had to contain meat.

RafterManFMJ's picture

My sausage is 100% meat. If you ask nicely I might display it for inspection or fondling.

robertocarlos's picture

Did the butcher trim it. Some people only eat Kosher meals.

FoodStampPrez's picture

The price of limes has also skyrocketed to over $120 a case (wholesale)...this isn't inflation though, you can always suck on a rock.

Dingleberry's picture

"Repeat after me, bitchez....unless there is WAGE inflation......then there is NO inflation!"


--Uncle Ben and Auntie Janet

buzzsaw99's picture

The real inflation is in the decline of quality. Lots of stuff just doesn't appeal to me anymore because it is crap and getting crappier by the day.

robertocarlos's picture

I ate a nice porterhouse last week and it was $16 a kilo. The filet part was large. Usually the filet on a sale price T-bone is one inch square.

I over-cooked it so that was not so good.

Abitdodgie's picture

So $16 a kilo but is that Iowa corn fed on MON810 with 3000ppm of Gyphosate yes you will go stirile eating it because of the higher ppm , last year it was only 240ppm . Or was is pasture only fed with NO injections or treatments , now there is really a differance.

robertocarlos's picture

It's factory garbage but I'm used to it. Grass fed beef is around 50 dollars a kilo for top sirloin. Probably $75 for T-bone.

Dingleberry's picture

I spend 20 bucks for a pound delmonico grass fed.

I spend 8 bucks for a gallon of real, non-pus-non-antibiotic milk.


No such thing as cheap food.

If it's cheap, it ain't food.


Spend the money. You're worth it.

Seer's picture

"The real inflation is in the decline of quality."

"inflation" + "decline" ... I think that we're in the WTF moment in time...

While we find this hard to chew we can take solice in knowing that home prices are cheaper!  Many components of the home are edible (just ask the termites, mice, rats, roaches)! </sarc>

It's worth looking at the FRED currency in circulation chart:

It's like printing paper to just toss into the trash can.  The holes in banks' balance sheets are so huge that most all is going to (try to) fill them, leaving little to actually do work in the real world.

Serenity Now's picture

Yes, decline of quality is a real problem.  I ate at a local steak place this past weekend, and the steak was surprisingly excellent.  The mashed potatoes and bread were horrible, however.  How hard is it to make good mashed potatoes and serve good bread and butter?  Most restuarants don't even try.  My husband and I rarely eat out, but when we do, we are almost always disappointed.  

ForTheWorld's picture

I'm a little late to the game on my reply, but soil depletion is a major factor in this. I'm coming around to the belief (through years of first hand experience with my own small scale ventures) that as nutrient content of the soil diminishes, even the basics like wheat and potatoes lose the vital components that make them taste great. Same with plantation timber, grasses for cattle etc. Without the raw materials (grass, wheat, potatoes in this instance) being of a consistently high quality, the result is a nutritional wasteland further down the line as each item is processed.

yogibear's picture

The government and Federal Reserve will just keep touting 2% inflation when food is going up 50%.

No mistake here, all by design. Keep the masses pacified by telling them everything is fine and it's just your imagination.

Never mind that toilet paper has been shrinking and that box of pasta is now 12 ounces instead of 16 ounces.

Like boiling the frog slowly.



NotApplicable's picture

Our toilet paper at work recently got skinnier. At first, I thought my hand had grown larger.

Seer's picture

Eat less pasta=> shit less.  Problems solved! </sarc>

Regardless of whether this is managed or not it is the ONLY direction that things can head (increased world-wide demand vs resource base).

Most of the world has been familiar with all of this for some time (if not forever).  For some perspective, consider that there are 750 million people in India living on $0.50/day.  Meanwhile the radio is blasting an ad for Viagra... "for less than $3/pill!"

surf0766's picture

We can fix this with a tax on cow farts !

Forward Progressives !

wee-weed up's picture

Hillary won't like having to pay extra.

kurt's picture

Problem Solved:

Don't pay for any cut of meat over $3.50/lb.. Vote with your wallet. Meat Rots. This is the only "representation" you have left! Just don't pay it.

The idiots behind the orchestrated price increase don't remember P X Q price times QUANTITY. Guess what dummies, Price time Quantity. One OR the other goes up and you can make money. If we don't pay more than $3.50/lb, your going to have to get your cost structure under control. How you do that is fight the cabal of hedge funds in court, or jail, now.

Seer's picture

"Don't pay for any cut of meat over $3.50/lb.. Vote with your wallet. Meat Rots. This is the only "representation" you have left! Just don't pay it."

I'm thinking that the pursuit of "cheap food" is kind of what got us to this point...

You cannot get blood out of a turnip.  Cattle industry was suffering losses on every head for quite some time: economic instability caused a lot of heartache in a very sensitive industry.  Hold back purchases will result in them dumping, and while that might get you a better price today, I'll assure you that tomorrow it won't be possible because there will be a loss on margins from reduced scales of ecomomy.  When there's lots of cow culling that means that the future is going to be rough, as it takes many years to build back cow herds.

I think that this sums up what I think of your "solution:"

The chief cause of problems is solutions. - Eric Sevareid

kurt's picture

Nope, you can't get blood out of a turnip but you can sure get shit out of an asshole.


Your Wallet Is Your Last Vote

Freewheelin Franklin's picture

Time to start buying bulk. I got a Jetro card. Need a chest freezer.

farmerjohn2112's picture

Think they'll deliver to the bush in Alaska?

Long moose jerky...

yogibear's picture

"Repeat after me, bitchez....unless there is WAGE inflation......then there is NO inflation!"

Obama and the Federal Reserve desperately  want price inflation. It's why their raising the minimum wage. They'll keep trying to force inflation.


How about Russia and China start a movement to dump US dollar. Hyperinflation helped Hitler to get into power. Desperate people believe anyone that gives them hope.

Dingleberry's picture

If they wanted wage inflation, that would be simple: report the REAL inflation numbers (not the masterbated ones) and those millions with gov jobs and on SSA, etc. will get automatic COLAs to match,  with the private sector to follow. 

The fed does not want that. The last time it got that, the shit got out of hand and rates had to go to double digits. Back then, unions were in force and got COLAs too.

The fed wants asset price inflation to bail out the banksters and their derivatives. That's all.

We already have price inflation, hence the article. It's just being lied about for obvious reasons.


kchrisc's picture

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

Can't be, because the propaganda media told me this:

Inflation ticks up, pointing to an improving U.S. economy Today's Headlines 4/15/2014  

(Bloomberg) — Consumer prices accelerated in March as Americans paid a bit more for food and rent, adding to signs that demand is improving in the world’s largest economy...

Rents may continue to climb as more households, who are just starting to recover from the collapse in home prices, forgo ownership and instead turn to leasing properties.


And here, , one can learn that in Oregon pressures on wages are because there are supposedly 10,000 positions going begging to be filled. So unemployment is causing inflation.

I smell a "spin sell" on the inflation you all are seeing in the grocery store and elsewhere.

"Because of improving demand for and rent, the cost of my next guillotine is going to be 15% higher."

Seer's picture

Yes, the fear is a run on guillotines...  and, really, it's very thoughtful of them to be concerned about us potentially harming ourselves in some mad dash to clear the guillotine shelves.

kchrisc's picture

People still eat shrimp after what was done to the Gulf of Mexico by BP? I am talking about the chemical, Corexit, they used to obscure the oil evidence.


venturen's picture

you are aware that oil comes from nature...right?

TruthInSunshine's picture

So does nightshade & uranium, but I don't marinate & season my steak with either.

Seer's picture

Sigh, thank you for being patient enough to be tactful.  I was inclined to respond with an array of expletives (and in-person it would have been hard to contain the club).  One day I expect that statements such as you're responding to will be more readily managed through darwinism...

sschu's picture

From a blog post by a 0-hedge fav:

11 He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle[c] and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”


Claim as rights.  It is all so predictable.



fukidontknow's picture



Samuel 8:11-18

The Old Testament 

ILLILLILLI's picture

Wow...good thing there aren't any people that follow the OT...!


Oh, wait...

Seek_Truth's picture

You’re missing the context of that scripture. It is from 1 Samuel chapter 8, and the preceding verses give the context. The Israelites are asking for a King (other than God) so they can be “just like the nations around them”, and God is telling them that they have it better the way they are, without a human King. God then tell Samuel to let Israel know what bad things will happen if they stubbornly appoint a King over them. 

Here  are the preceding verses proving the context:

When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as Israel’s leaders.[a] The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba. But his sons did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice. (Sound familiar?)

So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead[b] us, such as all the other nations have.”

But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.” – 1 Samuel 1-9

sschu's picture

We agree.  

Truth is truth.


Seer's picture

Who could imagine a top-down hierarchy delivering such? </sarc>

No gods no masters...

sschu's picture

Everyone has a master (you are a slave), it is really a matter of which one you select.  Romans 6.  


robertocarlos's picture

Issue ration coupons for gasoline and beef. 

Beef is up around 25% the las few months.