Retail meat prices rose 9.2% in February on a seasonally-adjusted basis when compared to February 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) monthly Consumer Price Index.

Pork prices climbed 8.9% from last year’s level. Beef and veal prices rose 10.6%; beef steaks 8.6%; beef roasts 15.4% and ground beef up 10%.

The general “at home” category has risen 2.8% over the past year, with all six of the major grocery store food groups posting increases.

“The increase in meat prices reported last week by BLS comes as no surprise to those of us in the meat and poultry industry and confirms what we’ve been saying for years,” says J. Patrick Boyle, president and CEO of the American Meat Institute. “While many variables contribute to the price of any food item, the soaring cost of corn due to ethanol production is one underlying factor that is driving up not only meat and poultry prices, but other food prices as well. This news is clear evidence that we should not be embracing a policy that burns 40% of our corn for fuel – it is burning a hole in Americans’ food budgets.”