Road to Depression

USDA warns of sticker shock on beef as grilling season starts!

on . Posted in Road to Depression

WASHINGTON (PNN) - May 23, 2014 - The Amerikan Gestapo Department of Agriculture division has warned of sticker shock facing home chefs on the eve of the Memorial Day holiday weekend, the unofficial start of the Fascist Police States of Amerika summer grilling season.

The agency said conditions in Kalifornia could have "large and lasting effects on (FPSA) fruit, vegetable, dairy and egg prices," as the most populous FPSA state struggles through what officials are calling a catastrophic drought.

The consumer price index (CPI) for FPSA beef and veal is up almost 10% so far in 2014, reflecting the fastest increase in retail beef prices since the end of 2003. Prices, even after adjusting for inflation, 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," the FPSA Department of Agriculture said.

Beef and veal prices for the whole of 2014 are now forecast to increase by 5.5% to 6.5%, a sharp advance from last month's forecast for a 3-4% rise. Pork prices are set to rise by 3-4%, up from a 2- 3% advance expected a month ago.

The FPSA Department of Agriculture said overall FPSA food price inflation for 2014, including food bought at grocery stores and food bought at restaurants, would rise by 2.5- 3.5% in 2014.

That is up from 2013, when retail food prices were almost flat, but 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 than it did in all of 2013," FPSA Department of Agriculture noted. At-home spending accounts for about 60% of the FPSA food CPI.

A major factor for rising pork prices is the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv), responsible for more than 7 million FPSA piglet deaths in the past year.

Egg prices are also climbing - up 15% in April alone - and are expected to rise by 5-6% on the year, and higher milk prices are feeding through to other products in the dairy case, particularly cheese.

Sweet lovers and caffeine addicts will see some relief, however, since global prices for sugar and coffee remain low, FPSA Department of Agriculture said.

The agency forecast prices of sugar and sweets to rise by 1-2% in 2014 and prices for non-alcoholic beverages to rise by 1.5-2.5%. 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," FPSA Department of Agriculture said.

So far the severe Kalifornia drought has not had a discernible impact on national fruits or vegetable prices, FPSA Department of Agriculture said, while warning that the effects are still to come.

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