Beef, pork, orange juice prices up
April 3, 2015
Higher retail prices for several foods, including sirloin tip roast, ground chuck, deli ham and orange juice, resulted in a slight increase in the American Farm Bureau Federation's (AFBF) Spring Picnic Marketbasket survey.
The informal survey shows the total cost of 16 food items that can be used to prepare one or more meals was $53.87, up $.60 or about 1 percent compared to a survey conducted a year ago. Of the 16 items surveyed, eight increased and eight decreased in average price.
"Several meat items increased in price, accounting for much of the modest increase in the marketbasket," said John Anderson, AFBF's deputy chief economist. "The 1 percent increase shown by our survey tracks closely with the Agriculture Department's forecast of 2 to 3 percent food inflation for 2015," he said.
Janet Krob, a Montana Farm Bureau shopper, said that compared to the national average, Montana consumers are getting a deal. "Sirloin tip roast, ground chuck, eggs, shredded cheddar, whole milk, russet potatoes and even orange juice are below the national average," notes Krob. "This isn't a scientific survey and is based on prices in a Bozeman grocery store, but it's nice to know we are paying less at the grocery store checkout than other folks across the country."
According to USDA, Americans spend just under 10 percent of their disposable annual income on food, the lowest average of any country in the world. A total of 86 shoppers in 29 states participated in the latest survey. The year-to-year direction of the marketbasket survey tracks closely with the federal government's Consumer Price Index (http://www.bls.gov/cpi/) report for food at home. As retail grocery prices have increased gradually over time, the share of the average food dollar that America's farm and ranch families receive has dropped.
"Through the mid-1970s, farmers received about one-third on average of consumer retail food expenditures for food eaten at home and away from home. Since then, that figure has decreased steadily and is now about 16 percent, according to the Agriculture Department's revised Food Dollar Series," Anderson said. Using the "food at home and away from home" percentage across-the-board, the farmer's share of this $53.87 marketbasket would be $8.62.
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Krob praises Montana's farmers and ranchers who work 24/7/365, even though their share of the average food dollar has decreased. "When you sit down to a family meal this spring, be sure to thank our farmers and ranchers who work hard to put safe, affordable and abundant food on your family's table."
AFBF, the nation's largest general farm organization, began conducting informal quarterly marketbasket surveys of retail food price trends in 1989. The series includes a spring picnic survey, summer cookout survey, fall harvest survey and Thanksgiving survey.