Maintenance. We are currently updating the site. Please check back shortly

Thomson Reuters Foundation

Inform - Connect - Empower

Citrus disease driving U.S. fruit prices higher - USDA

Source: Reuters - Wed, 25 Jun 2014 14:57 GMT
Author: Reuters
hum-dis cli-ada
Tweet Recommend Google + LinkedIn Email Print
Leave us a comment

(Adds table with USDA forecasts, other details) By Ros Krasny WASHINGTON, June 25 (Reuters) - Fallout from a devastating citrus disease in Florida is the latest blow to American consumers struggling with record-high prices for some meats and overall higher food bills, the Department of Agriculture said on Wednesday. In a monthly report on the food price outlook, the USDA said fresh fruit prices would jump by 5 to 6 percent this year, against an earlier forecast of a 3.5 to 4.5 percent increase. The agency highlighted a 22.5-percent jump in citrus prices over the past year. As well as the lingering effects of a winter freeze in southern California, orange crops have been slammed by the plant disease known as citrus greening, which threatens to undermine Florida's $9 billion citrus industry. USDA evaluated expected increases in overall food, food-at-home and food-away-from-home prices and concluded that overall food inflation would be 2.5 to 3.5 percent, the same as last month's forecast. Although in line with historic norms - since 1990, grocery store prices in the United States have risen by an average of 2.8 percent per year - the expected rate of increase is up from just 1.4 percent last year. Dairy prices were forecast to increase by 3 to 4 percent on the year against an earlier 2.5 to 3.5 percent projection. "Milk and dairy prices are higher due, in part, to strong foreign and domestic demand and lower output per cow in the Midwest," USDA said. The agency in May raised its forecast for beef and veal prices, and maintained those levels in June. Beef prices are expected to rise by 5.5 to 6.5 percent, and for pork prices to gain by 3 to 4 percent. U.S. beef prices are already up more than 9 percent so far in 2014 as cattle inventories fall and beef exports increase. Pork prices have shown similar gains in 2014. "Most retail beef prices, on average, are at record highs, even after adjusting for inflation," USDA said. For pork, it added that the recent price surge - partly a reflection of a killer piglet virus sweeping the country - could be temporary since slaughter prices fell 10 percent in May. But the sweet spot for the summer barbecue season could be poultry, where prices are relatively flat. USDA said it continues to track the effects of the ongoing drought in California on fruit, vegetable, dairy, and egg prices, and drought conditions in Texas and Oklahoma on beef prices. "Retailer margins, having contracted since the drought, may expand in 2014 if input prices rise, which should contribute to inflation," it added. Consumer Price Indexes Apr-M Annual Forecast Forecast ay 2013 2014 (June) 2014 (May) All food 0.4 1.4 2.5 to 3.5 2.5 to 3.5 Food away from home 0.2 2.1 2.5 to 3.5 2.5 to 3.5 Food at home 0.6 0.9 2.5 to 3.5 2.5 to 3.5 Meats, poultry, and fish 1.2 2.1 3.0 to 4.0 3.0 to 4.0 Meats 1.1 1.2 3.5 to 4.5 3.5 to 4.5 Beef and Veal 0.1 2.0 5.5 to 6.5 5.5 to 6.5 Pork 3.2 0.9 3.0 to 4.0 3.0 to 4.0 Other meats 0.3 -0.1 2.0 to 3.0 2.0 to 3.0 Poultry 1.2 4.7 3.0 to 4.0 3.0 to 4.0 Fish and seafood 1.9 2.5 2.5 to 3.5 2.5 to 3.5 Eggs -2.3 3.3 5.0 to 6.0 5.0 to 6.0 Dairy products 0.6 0.1 3.0 to 4.0 2.5 to 3.5 Fats and oils 0.6 -1.4 1.5 to 2.5 1.5 to 2.5 Fruits and vegetables 1.4 2.5 2.5 to 3.5 2.5 to 3.5 Fresh fruits /vegetables 1.4 3.3 3.0 to 4.0 2.5 to 3.5 Fresh fruits 2.0 2.0 5.0 to 6.0 3.5 to 4.5 Fresh vegetables 0.6 4.7 2.0 to 3.0 2.0 to 3.0 Processed fruits/ vegetables 1.5 0.3 2.5 to 3.5 2.5 to 3.5 Sugar and sweets -0.5 -1.7 1.0 to 2.0 1.0 to 2.0 Cereals and bakery products 0.1 1.0 1.5 to 2.5 1.5 to 2.5 Nonalcoholic beverages -0.5 -1.0 1.5 to 2.5 1.5 to 2.5 Other foods 0.5 0.5 2.0 to 3.0 2.0 to 3.0 (Reporting by Ros Krasny; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Susan Heavey)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. For more information see our Acceptable Use Policy.

comments powered by Disqus
Most Popular
TOPICAL CONTENT
Topical content
LATEST SLIDESHOW

Latest slideshow

See allSee all
FEATURED JOBS
Featured jobs