The era of cheap food may be over. In recent months food prices
have risen at a faster rate than inflation, but meat prices have
risen less than those for other commodities.
In October 2007 it was an increase in vegetable and fresh milk
prices that contributed most to a 5% annual rise in overall food
prices. However meat was only 2% more expensive than a year earlier.
Higher prices for poultry and processed meat products compared
with 2006 offset lower prices for beef and lamb.
The combined agricultural costs of production between January
and September this year were 6% higher than a year ago. Higher
grain costs have pushed up feed costs for livestock producers,
and rising oil prices are now starting to filter through to producers'
Higher food prices are not unique to the UK: in September the
world food price index was a third higher than a year ago. As well
as tight world grain supplies impacting on agricultural commodity
prices, higher petrol prices, increased freight charges and exchange
rate movements are also influencing prices.
These are just some of the observations made in a special feature
on food price inflation in the December issue of Meat Demand Trends,
a quarterly publication produced by MLC Economics' team of analysts.
Contact Jayne Dines on 01908 844396 for details or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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