Report: Concentration Not Affecting Pork Prices

A new report shows pork prices increased because of demand, higher input costs and labor shortages throughout the supply chain, not concentration in the meatpacking industry. Economists with Iowa State University, North Carolina State University and the National Pork Producers Council released the report Wednesday. The report also says pork prices in the United States are still lower than in many other countries. The pork packing industry is made up of fewer and larger plants than it was 50 years ago. Still, the industry’s structure has changed little in recent decades, the report stated. Concentration levels today are about seven percent lower than they were five years ago because of new packing plants that opened from 2017 to 2020. National Pork Producers Council President Jen Sorenson adds, “This report shows the concentration level in the pork packing industry is not significantly higher than it was 15 years ago.”

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