06/20/2014 03:03 EDT | Updated 06/20/2014 03:59 EDT

Bacon Prices Soar Amid Pork Industry Crisis


Inflation has returned to Canada. The culprit appears to be energy (in case you haven’t noticed the price of gas soaring), and it sent Canada’s headline rate up to 2.3 per cent, the highest in two years and above the Bank of Canada’s 2-per-cent target.

But energy isn’t the only thing sending prices up. The ongoing crisis in the pork industry is having a major impact on bacon prices.

According to StatsCan data released Friday, the price of bacon in Canada jumped by 9.3 per cent in the past month alone, and is up 25.3 per cent over the past year.

That fact was flagged by Ilan Kolet, a Bloomberg reporter and former Bank of Canada economist, who tweeted this chart, calling it the “scariest part” of today’s inflation report.

The principal culprit is a pig virus that spread across the U.S. last year and has since spread to Canada. The PED virus affects mostly piglets, but has a near 100-per-cent mortality rate among them. It has wiped out an estimated 7 million piglets in the U.S., causing a pork shortage.

That shortage is now having an impact on Canada. Maple Leaf Foods last month announced a pork price hike, and said the shortage was forcing it to reduce hours at its Manitoba plant.

Here are the largest food price hikes in Canada over the past four years. This data comes from StatsCan's April report, released before the large hike in bacon prices over the past month.

Photo gallery The Largest Food Price Spikes See Gallery