Monday, February 28, 2011

Rising Food Prices - 02/28/2011

Food prices on the rise

Circumstances around the world conspire to up your bill

Delaware Online

Those demonstrations in Egypt and devastating floods in Australia are more than just faraway flashes of trouble on the news sites.

They are events that are being felt already, and will continue to cause distress, in a supermarket and restaurant near you.

Whipped along by wild weather, political strife and even the trendy shift toward biofuels, food prices are rising at a rate capable of causing global shock, and look increasingly likely to push even higher through this already tumultuous year... [Full Article]

Attention, shoppers! Food prices are rising.

Rising world demand and supply shortages will push up food prices 2 to 4 percent this year, maybe more.

Christian Science Monitor

Even if you never set foot in a supermarket, track commodity prices, or buy wheat futures, you probably have noticed this trend: Food prices are going up.

Nan Braun knows. Since Thanksgiving, "I've been paying at least another $50 a month more for food for the family," says the Kokomo, Ind., resident. She's responded by purchasing some foods in bulk when they're on sale – and buying flour for making bread.

Susan Unger-Grossman of New York City has noticed a change. The price of the box of single-serving coffee packets she often buys hasn't changed, but the number of packets per box has dropped from 24 to 18. "That means if you'd buy three boxes of the coffee, you'd be losing the equivalent of a whole box," she points out.

These changes are early hints of a much broader increase in food prices that should come later this year. The rise in commodity food and energy prices will boost costs at the grocery store this year anywhere from 2 to 4 percent – or possibly even higher, analysts forecast. That's not unprecedented. A rise of 2 to 3 percent in consumer food prices would mark a return "toward the historical average" food inflation rate, according to the US Department of Agriculture. It just feels huge because last year, consumers' price of food inched up only 0.8 percent – the lowest food inflation rate since 1962, according to the USDA.

Some foods will go up in price more than others. Shoppers can expect a rise of 2.5 to 3.5 percent for beef and 4.5 to 5.5 percent for dairy products, the USDA forecasts. But nonalcoholic beverages will post price increases of only 1 to 2 percent... [Full Article]

No Inflation? That's Not What Food Prices Are Saying


With all the talk about $4 a gallon gas and the crisis in the Middle East, the specter of surging food prices has gotten pushed to the background.

That’s a mistake, considering that the struggle to put food on the table is what generated the riots in the first place. In the US we focus so much on gas because of the way higher transportation costs infect every sector of the economy, but rising grocery costs are a major threat as well.

Of course, we live in the land of no inflation.

Core cost of living is cruising along in the 1 to 2 percent range, according to government calculations, indicating that we have nothing to worry about when it comes to inflation concerns.

One can only imagine that the economists who project these assertions don’t have to eat.

By any measure imaginable, food prices are climbing and climbing fast and it’s not only in developing countries where income can’t keep up with the rise in the cost of goods.

Here in the US, food is putting a big bite on household budgets. More than 12 percent of after-tax income is now being spent on fuel and food, with more than half that number on the latter... [Full Article]