September 19, 2014 11:37 am
Updated: September 19, 2014 4:23 pm

Red meat prices still through the roof, Statistics Canada data shows

Average retail prices for meat in general are up 9.3 per cent, but red meat such as beef and pork, is experiencing far bigger price increases.

Canadian Press

If you’re planning a mean stew for these colder than average September nights, be prepared to pay up to do it. Stewing beef at the grocery store now costs nearly a third more than it did a year ago.

More troublingly, the average price for bacon is up even more (see chart).

Across the board, red meat prices remain far higher than a year ago, thanks to supply troubles that have flamed costs for consumers higher all year.

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MORE: Shoppers adjust to surging meat prices by cutting back, Metro says

What’s not up – chicken, which has seen a marginal fall in average price, according to Statistics Canada data released Friday.

A kilogram of chicken cost $7.25 compared with $27.71 for prime rib, StatsCan said. The average price for a kilogram of pork was $12.53 in August, compared with $20.67 for sirloin steak.

The cost of food purchased from stores in general was 2.3 per cent higher on a year-over-year basis, Statistics Canada said.

Here’s a look at our monthly round up of red meat price fluctuations:

Click here to view data »

Leveling off

Still, experts suggest meat prices have plateaued.

“This story is about the recovery from the American drought of 2012 as cattle inventories were depressed for a while. Now, inventories are high enough to respond to market demand, and steady feed prices will allow retail prices for beef to remain stable,” said Sylvain Charlebois, a professor at the University of Guelph’s College of Management and Economics and expert on North American food prices.

But don’t expect prices to drop significantly, he added in an email message.

“BBQ season is over, so they might slightly drop, but not much. Demand for beef is robust, and retailers know that. Even if prices go up, consumers will keep on buying.”

StatsCan says Canada’s annual inflation rate was 2.1 per cent in August, unchanged from the previous month. Prices were up across the board, with the cost of shelter leading the way.

The federal agency says all 12 components of the Consumer Price Index edged higher.

MORE: Canada’s inflation rate unchanged in August

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