USDA forecasts rise in food prices for 2014

by Laura Lloyd
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WASHINGTON – The all-food component of the Consumer Price Index was forecast to rise 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent in 2014, according to the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Price Outlook issued Feb. 25. Such a level of price inflation would represent a jump from 1.4 percent in all-food price inflation in 2013, the report said.

Foods consumed at home with the highest price inflation forecasts in 2014 were beef, veal and poultry, expected to show a 3 percent to 4 percent rise in prices compared with 2013. The food items expected to show the lowest rates of price inflation were fats, oils, cereals and bakery products, whose prices were expected to show price advances of 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent in 2014, the Food Price Outlook said.

Forecast changes in prices paid to producers (the Producer Price Index) for 2014 showed a wider range of changes. On the high end, prices paid to farmers for cattle were expected to rise 5 percent to 6 percent in 2014. Farm eggs were expected to rise 4 percent to 5 percent in 2014.

Some of the widest declines in producer prices forecast for 2014 included farm-level soybeans and wheat, expected to fall in price by 7 percent to 8 percent in 2014 compared with 2013, and wholesale wheat flour, which was expected to decline in price by 9 percent to 10 percent from the previous year, the USDA said.
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