Dairy Prices Fall in US Supermarkets

WASHINGTON, D.C., US – Milk and cheese prices showed some of the largest declines of all retail food prices at the supermarket, according to the latest American Farm Bureau Federation Marketbasket Survey.
calendar icon 6 April 2009
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Shredded cheddar cheese, milk and vegetable oil showed the largest retail price declines and together account for most of the decrease in average price of the overall marketbasket. Shredded cheese dropped 70 cents to $4.24 per pound; milk dropped 67 cents to $3.15 per gallon; and vegetable oil dropped 38 cents to $2.79 for a 32-oz. bottle.

“Continued weak demand overseas for U.S. dairy products combined with increased on-farm production are behind the softening retail prices for shredded cheese and whole milk,” said Jim Sartwelle, an AFBF economist.

Other items that decreased in price were: Russet potatoes, down 31 cents to $3.05 per bag; eggs, down 28 cents to $1.50 per dozen; toasted oat cereal, down 22 cents to $2.91 for a 9-oz. box; apples, down 16 cents to $1.35 per pound; boneless chicken breasts, down 12 cents to $3.38 per pound; bacon, down 11 cents to $3.26 per pound; white bread, down 11 cents to $1.77 for a 20-oz. loaf; and orange juice, down 2 cents to $3.00 for a half-gallon.

“The retail price decline for eggs is due to a combination of slightly higher production coupled with weakened demand as consumers respond to the economic downturn by curtailing spending in all areas. Industry analysts are predicting that slightly lower retail egg prices and relatively higher egg production will continue throughout 2009,” Sartwelle said.

Five items increased slightly in price this quarter: ground chuck and sliced deli ham, up 8 cents to $2.94 and $4.94 per pound, respectively; sirloin tip roast and flour, up 5 cents to $3.99 per pound and $2.51 for a 5-pound bag, respectively; and American salad, up 2 cents to $2.63 for a 1-pound bag.

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