Cost of meat, groceries going up, just in time for BBQ season

Manitobans looking forward to BBQ season should brace themselves. The price of meat is going up.

Prices on the rise mainly due to what's happening in the U.S.

The price of meat, like these Porterhouse steaks at Cantor's Meats in Winnipeg, is going up. (Meagan Fiddler/CBC)

Manitobans looking forward to BBQ season should brace themselves. The price of meat is going up.

Ed Cantor of Cantors Meats said it's not because he's jacking up the prices. 

"It's hard because the customer looks at you and asks, "Why are you raising the prices?'' he said. "But it's not us."

Cantor said it's about what's happening south of the border, especially in the pork industry, as much as a dollar a kilogram, mostly because of a deadly pig virus.

"There's a shortage in the market right now," he said. "Americans are buying up all the product, the pigs, right now and shipping them to the U.S."

Brian Perillat, an analyst with Statistics Canada, said the price of beef has shot up, too, nearly a third over what it was four years ago. He said ground beef has increased the most at 36 per cent.

"When we're talking like 20 per cent increase in cattle prices, we can see some definitely higher retail prices as well," he said. 

Shoppers in Winnipeg said it means being selective to save money. 

Irene Binguis said when she sees a good deal, like the hamburger at Cantors Thursday, she doesn't hesitate. 

"When they're a high price, I don't buy them," she said. "But this here, it was a good price so we bought 10 pounds."

Economist Michael Von Massow at the University of Guelph said meat's not the only thing going up. 

The price of that morning cup of java is expected to spike, partly because of a drought in Brazil. He said the lower Canadian dollar will also hike the cost of fruits and veggies from the U.S. 

Winnipegger Norma Moran said her meat bill alone has gone up by $15 a month.

"It's been getting a little bit expensive," she said. "But I use it."

But with more increases on the way, she may make more permanent changes.

"I don't think I'm going to eat meat anymore," she said, laughing. "I'm going to become a vegetarian!"