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Where's the beef? It's behind the armed guards

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/23/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Beef prices are going to be a bit pricey this grilling season

Memorial Day Weekend is usually the beginning of the summer season with cookouts and barbecues. The American public is being warned that the cost of beef is going to be a bit high this time around. The Department of Agriculture says that conditions in the state of California could have "large and lasting effects on U.S. fruit, vegetable, dairy and egg prices." The most populous U.S. state continues to reel from a catastrophic drought.

Another factor for rising pork prices is the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus which has been responsible for more than seven million U.S. piglet deaths in the past year.

Another factor for rising pork prices is the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus which has been responsible for more than seven million U.S. piglet deaths in the past year.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
5/23/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Beff, pork, prices, USDA, drought, California


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The fastest increase in retail beef prices since the end of 2003 have been reported this season. The consumer price index for U.S. beef and veal is up almost 10 percent so far this year. Even as this is adjusted for inflation, prices are at record highs.

"The drought in Texas and Oklahoma has worsened somewhat in the last month, providing further complications to the beef production industry," USDA said.

Starvation never takes a vacation --

Beef and veal prices for the whole of 2014 are now forecast to increase by 5.5 percent to 6.5 percent, a sharp advance from last month's forecast for a three to four percent rise. In addition, pork prices are also set to rise by three to four percent, up from a two to three percent advance expected a month ago.

The USDA said overall U.S. food price inflation for 2014, including food bought at grocery stores and food bought at restaurants, would rise by 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent in 2014.

While showing an increase over last year, these figures are in line with historical norms and unchanged from April's forecast.

"The food-at-home CPI has already increased more in the first four months of 2014 then it did in all of 2013," USDA noted. At-home spending accounts for about 60 percent of the U.S. food CPI.

Another factor for rising pork prices is the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus which has been responsible for more than seven million U.S. piglet deaths in the past year.

Egg prices are also up 15 percent. Eggs are expected to rise by five to six percent on the year, and higher milk prices are feeding through to other products in the dairy case, particularly cheese.

There is some "sweet" relief in store - as global prices for sugar and coffee remain low, USDA said.

The agency forecast prices of sugar and sweets to rise by one to two percent in 2014 and prices for non-alcoholic beverages to rise by 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent. Both forecasts were lowered this month.

"It appears supermarkets are maintaining minimal price inflation on packaged food products, possibly in an effort to keep prices competitive in light of rising cost pressures for most perishable items," USDA said.

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