OMG Global Bacon Market Manipulation!
My first familiarity with "pork bellies" was at the ripe old age of 18 when I ended up dating a commodities trader from Montreal who loved his job... a little too much (suffice to say it didn't last long, I just wasn't into futures at that point in my life). I didn't care much about pork bellies then and don't care much now except for the fact that I have been a longtime fan of the bacon meme AND bacon itself. This is truly a sad day for my favorite greasy meat.
Americans have stuck loads of bacon on their sandwiches and salads this summer as the U.S. supply of hogs has fallen, creating a shortage in that most joked-about commodity, pork bellies.
Investors in bellies are having the last laugh.
The price of pork bellies, from which bacon is made, has shot up from 94 cents a pound as recently as June to $1.40 a pound in August.
On the store shelves, average retail prices have risen more than $1 per pound since last year, to more than $4, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports.
"The prices will go up even more in coming weeks because the bacon that's on the shelves now was purchased earlier in the futures market," says Joe Muelhaupt, executive vice president of Des Moines Cold Storage.
Funny, I just got into a discussion about this on Twitter not that long ago when ranting about the flation threat, be it de or in, and bacon was brought in as an example of increased food prices. Now it makes more sense and I'm still grateful that we don't actually eat silver.
Free bacon for everyone, this is a travesty!!
The good news is that February 2011 pork belly futures are way down and the Swine Flu threat basically over so hold off on wrapping your hot dogs in greasy goodness for a few more months and we'll be swimming in crispy bacony goodness in no time.