Sunday, March 20, 2011
Global food prices pushed by three-factor engine
American consumers can expect to spend about 4 percent more for food this year than in 2010, said Corinne Alexander. Beef, pork and poultry products likely will see even greater price hikes, she said.
U.S. food price inflation reached 7.5 percent in September 2008 before falling 10.5 percent by November 2009. It's been moving back up ever since.
Shortages in corn, soybean and wheat stocks have pushed prices to their highest levels this decade. Corn and soybeans are used for food products, animal feed and in biofuels production, while wheat is the principal ingredient in breads and cereals.
Storms have battered the sugar industry, sending prices to more than double what they were in 2009.
"When you see massive food price inflation and food is half of your family's budget, it hurts substantially more," Alexander said.