Milk Might Be Even More Expensive In 2022. Here's Why

Economic uncertainty has been a topic of concern throughout the pandemic and continues to affect everything from employment to the cost of groceries. Even fast food prices are on the rise, up by an average of 6.2% as of March 2021 (via Restaraunt Business). In the past year, the food industry has seen a phenomenal shift, as Econofact reports that consumers and businesses alike are seeing the highest increase in food prices since the early 1980s.

Milk is not exempt from the increase in cost, according to Lee Mielke of "Dairy Radio Now," as supply and demand, port congestion, and staffing issues are hurting American dairy farmers, leaving them no choice but to raise prices (via NPR). Mielke shares that "farmers have seen their costs skyrocket as well, particularly feed, plus energy – which is gas and electricity, propane – and labor costs."

Furthermore, Progressive Dairy reports that the milk production forecast for 2022 is at 227.7 billion pounds, and while that sounds like a lot, it's actually 400 million pounds less than November's forecast. The outlet states that with such a high demand for milk, but less being produced, prices are expected to rise.

A global increase in milk prices

The Star Courier reports that we might see price increases between $0.80 and $2.70 per hundredweight, which might benefit the dairy farmers but will also put a bigger dent in consumers' wallets. President of AgResource Company in Chicago, Dan Basse, says that "World demand for dairy products remains strong," but goes on to note that the increased desire for dairy products along with elevated cow slaughter is adding to the inflation of milk. The biggest concern for Basse, however, is the price of feed, sharing that it could be the "Achilles heel of the dairy industry."

America isn't the only country seeing a hike in milk prices. According to CBC, COVID-19 severely affected the price and availability of food in Canada, and unfortunately, it's not expected to be any better in 2022. The outlet reports a projection of an annual increase of $966 for the average family grocery bill, with milk expected to jump a whopping 8.4% due to production costs.