For his annual Independence Day bash, California resident Julian Miranda plans to shell out about $600 to contribute to a potluck spread for about 60 to 80 people.
While Miranda knows meat prices have risen sharply, the music consultant and owner of a party planning business isn’t going to change anything about the event.
“No, I’m just going to grin and bear it,” he said.
Miranda’s expected jump in food costs echoes the findings of a new informal survey from the American Farm Bureau Federation, which showed the average cost for a July 4th picnic for 10 is $58.72, 5.4 percent higher than last year.
The survey is based on retail prices from 84 shoppers’ findings in 26 states and Puerto Rico.
Meat and dairy prices rose the most. The cost of ground round shot up 13.4 percent, pork spare ribs 13.2 percent and American cheese 14.3 percent.
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“Beef supplies are fairly tight right now. We’ve had multiple years of drought in key production areas,” said John Anderson, AFBF’s deputy chief economist, in a phone interview.
“There was quite a bit of herd liquidation,” Anderson said. “We have not rebuilt from that situation yet.”
A virus that’s killed millions of baby pigs has also pressured pork prices.
While American cheese was the largest percentage gainer, its small portion of the basket translated into a relatively minimal effect on the total price.
“The main thing that’s going on in the dairy sector is we’ve got really strong demand,” Anderson said.
The biggest drop in the survey came from ketchup prices, which fell 12.3 percent.
Looking forward, Anderson sees a silver lining for future cookout baskets.
“The market basket is primarily rising because of what’s going on with meat prices,” he said. “As we look out, we do see responses in the production system that will ultimately slow those prices down.”