Hog Prices Hit Seven-Year High on Grilling-Season Pork Demand

America’s insatiable appetite for ribs and hot dogs pushed hog prices to the highest in nearly seven years as the summer grilling season kicks off.

Warm temperatures have always been a seasonal lift for meat demand but rising sales of outdoor barbecue grills during the pandemic may provide an even bigger boost this year. Plus, hog supplies are already tight from farmers culling herds last year when virus-stricken workers forced pork packers to close plants.

The combination of rising demand and limited supply has bumped up prices for some cuts: Pork spareribs are at $288.91 per 100 pounds, the highest ever. That’s helping to recoup profit margins to pork packers who were recently squeezed by the rapid escalation in hog prices that had outpaced gains in the pork market. Meanwhile, consumers preparing for backyard barbecues are getting hit with higher prices amid rising food inflation.

Hog Prices Hit Seven-Year High on Grilling-Season Pork Demand

“Packers have successfully restored lost margins,” said Dennis Smith, senior account executive at Archer Financial Services Inc. in Chicago.

Chicago July hog futures jumped by the daily exchange limit of 3 cents per pound to reach 116.55 cents, the highest since July 8, 2014.

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