The Only Commodity We Care About Is Bacon

May 6th, 2011 by alyx · 4 Comments · commodities

Silver’s down? Well, call the Lone Ranger, that’ll cheer him up. Gold and oil, too? We could prattle for ages about whether the loller dollar’s rebound will continue to send shockwaves through the commodities market, but we won’t.

We just want to talk about bacon. Namely, the unmitigated pork cravings by those who dig on swine, and the record highs forecasted for the pork belly market.

First, consumption is up:

Pork belly prices are on pace to set records this summer as restaurants add bacon to everything from salads to sundaes. About 44% of U.S. consumers will eat bacon within a two-week period, which is a record high, according to consumer studies conducted by the NPD Group, a Port Washington, N.Y.-based market research firm.

Only 44%? The other 56% of you are slacking (and don’t try to give me some religious or health excuse, this is sweet nectar of hog we’re talking about here). Anyway, demand is doing exactly what you’d expect to prices:

Prices for pork bellies, from which bacon is made, are responding to strong demand, with analysts and traders predicting bellies will set new, all-time highs this summer of $1.70 to $2.00 a pound. Cash market prices reached a record of $1.60 a pound in September as belly supplies ran short. Recent federal data put the price of 14- to 16-pound bellies at $1.50 a pound, well ahead of $1.10-a-pound price a year ago.

This has left the price of a pound of bacon about on par with the price of a gallon of premium unleaded (fitting cuz I’d prob need to run 20 miles to burn off a pound of it):

Retail bacon prices climbed to $4.537 a pound for March, 23.7% above prices a year ago, but still below the record high of $4.773 a pound set in October, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Pork belly futures also are above year-ago levels, but the contract is thinly traded.

We worry a bit about there being a “bacon bubble,” given its meteoric rise to stardom.

It was one thing when it was just foodies like us enjoying it at Baconfest and Cochon 555 (and it was nearly two years ago that we threw together the Hot Chicks With Bacon blog just because), but it’s another thing entirely when Denny’s has their marketing team make the calculated move to plop it on top of a sundae because it’s all the rage with the kids these days, so you have to keep an eye on the zeitgeist to determine if its fifteen minutes of fame are close to being up.

But that’s okay if it is, because that’ll leave more for me and Jason.

And I can’t write a post like this without leaving you with the best explanation of commodities, ever:

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