Retail meat price spreads for the month of May were released by USDA ERS late last week and the data shows that inflation continues to affect meat prices. Retail pork prices reached another record level in May at $4.89 per pound, slightly above the prior month but 11.5% or $0.50 per pound higher than last year. May marks the third consecutive month that retail pork prices have set a record price. In fact, the top twelve retail pork prices have all occurred within the last twelve months. Bacon posted its second highest price with May at $7.36 per pound which is down less than one percent from April’s record level of $7.42. Boneless hams set a record of $5.17 per pound in May, up 5.4% from a year ago.
The all fresh retail beef price in May was $7.68 per pound, an increase of 10.2% or $0.71 per pound from a year earlier. Ground beef was $4.89 per pound in May, up 8.9% or $0.40 and also the third highest on record behind April 2022 ($4.95) and June 2020 ($5.33). Chuck and round roasts were $7.03 and $6.31 per pound in May, both 10.2% and 8.3% higher than last year but still below record levels seen during the fall and summer of 2021. Sirloin steaks were $10.45 per pound, an increase of 5.6% ($0.56) from last year but down more than a dollar from record highs in the fall of 2021.