Report: Ham prices up due to fatter pigs

In this March 3, 2014 photo two sows push up against another entering an electronic feeding stall, center, at Fair Oaks Farms in Fair Oaks, Ind. The electronic feeding system is aimed at preventing bigger sows from hogging all the food and lets each sow eat in peace. It is one of the tools farmers are using as they move pregnant pigs out of small, individual gestation stalls and into group pens. (AP Photo/M.L.Johnson)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Ham prices will be more expensive this year, according to an article from Bloomberg.

The article says the price increase is because pigs in the U.S. weigh more this year after farmers fed them longer to make up for losses caused by a virus that killed millions of piglets.

Heavier pigs mean more pork per animal, but Bloomberg says the pigs’ hind legs exceed the size used for producing the 7-pound spiral-cut, the half hams that are the most popular for family meals during year-end holidays.

Retail prices for ham through October were up 26 percent this year to a record $3.433 per pound, according to data.

According to the article, grocery stores and meat shops are also advertising fewer discounts on pork this year than in recent years. USDA data shows in the week ended Nov. 20, 11,220 retail supermarkets featured spiral hams at an average price of $3.12 a pound, down from 12,660 at $2.40 last year.

The article also says Christmas week is the highest for ham sales, followed by Easter and Thanksgiving.

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