Consumer price indexes for US animal products higher in 2021

The consumer price index for food increased at less than the overall inflation rate, 3.9%
calendar icon 4 February 2022
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The US Department of Labour’s Bureau of Labour Statistics released consumer price indexes (CPIs) for 2021 on 12 January, 2022. The chart below compares the 2021 and 2022 CPIs for all products and for food, beef, pork, poultry, eggs, and dairy products. The CPI for all items, a measure of inflation, increased 4.7% from 2020 to 2021. The CPI for food increased at less than the overall inflation rate, 3.9%. The inflation rates for beef and veal, pork, and poultry all exceeded the general inflation rate. The CPIs for eggs and dairy both increased less than the general inflation rate.

Beef/Cattle: USDA’s 2021 commercial beef production forecast was raised slightly from last month to 27.950 billion pounds on higher non-fed cattle slaughter and heavier carcass weights. Fed and feeder steer prices were raised in 2022. November’s beef imports totalled 297 million pounds, up 27% from a year ago. The 2021 annual forecast for beef imports was increased by 40 million pounds from last month to 3.355 billion pounds. The 2022 beef import forecast was unchanged from last month at 3.265 billion pounds. Beef exports in October were up 298 million pounds, 8 percent above last year. The annual forecasts for 2021 and 2022 beef exports were unchanged from last month at 3.455 and 3.270 billion pounds, respectively.

Dairy: While November 2021 milk production fell below November 2020, domestic use in November was above November of the previous year, and dairy exports have continued to be robust. From the week ending December 11 to the week ending January 8, wholesale prices increased for all dairy products reported in the USDA National Dairy Products Sales Report. Recent dairy export prices of major global competitors have been relatively high. Due to the recent increase in dairy product prices, stronger expected demand, and expectations for only a modest increase in the global milk supply, wholesale price forecasts have been raised for major dairy products. The all-milk price forecast for 2022 is $22.60 per hundredweight, $1.85 higher than last month’s forecast.

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