August 1, 2014 5:35 pm

Beef prices spike as BBQ season heats up

Tamara Forlanski / Global News

WINNIPEG – As BBQ season heats up, beef prices are getting tougher to swallow.

“They are sky rocketing,” siad Rose Kamins, who was stocking up on steaks ahead of the long weekend.

Blame the high cost of feed and the lowest number of beef cattle in North America in half a century.

“Prices of beef have gone up in the last six months,” said Gilbert Kohlman, the meat manager at Cantor’s. “I think they are going to go up some more.”

At Cantor’s, the price for ground beef was $1.99 per pound last year. Now it is $3.19. The store says it does its best to keep its prices low but can only do so much.

“It’s scary,” Kohlman said. “People’s incomes aren’t increasing as fast as their food is going up.”

Graphic showing spike in meat prices

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A BMO Capital Markets report found beef in Canada is costing 13 per cent more than last year and pork has jumped around 17 per cent.

There are some cheaper choice cuts. A 20 oz top sirloin steak will run you $5.78 at Cantor’s. Kohlman said that would be enough to feed two people.

Pork chops are another affordable alternative.

The price of poultry hasn’t spiked as much, so there is always the option of chicken.

Cantor’s sells two chickens legs for $2.19.

If you don’t feel like firing up the BQQ, dining out is about to get more expensive too.

“We are all waiting to decide what to do,” said Jim Siwicki, the owner of Silver Heights Restaurant.

His meat supplier has told him to brace for a big jump in prices.

“They are expecting a 30 to 50 per cent increase by April if supplies stay the same,” said Siwicki.

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