Rising food prices blamed on drought

10:37 PM, Feb 23, 2013   |    comments
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ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Some staples at the grocery store have gotten a little more expensive.

"We're looking at higher prices in probably beef, fresh vegetables, and maybe oils, cooking oils that are based with soybeans and dairy products seem to be the main concern about higher prices for 2013," said Vincent Hromadka.

Hromadka owns Vincent's Market in Soulard. He says last summer's drought is the main factor.

"It looks like the beef prices are affected the most because of the long turnaround time to rebuild the herds compared to chicken, and the egg products," he said.

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, beef prices jumped 10-percent in 2011, another six percent last year, and are expected to go up another three to four percent this year.

Eggs went up nine percent in 2011, another three percent last year, and are projected to rise three to four percent this year.

Milk is expected to jump four and a half percent.

"At my stage of life I haven't really noticed a lot of change in the prices because I don't look particularly because I don't have to worry about every penny I spend on groceries anymore," said Vincent's regular Ann Chance.

Chance says the rising prices are changing the way her daughter shops.

"She watches the sales more closely. She's more apt to buy a generic brand of something than the name brand of something just to save the pennies. Meat is always an issue, so she looks at what's on sale and that kind of thing," she said.

St. Louis University professor Bob Cropf says gas prices are also a factor because of the cost of transportation to producers.

"Obviously everyone has to eat and it affects everyone across the board. But it affects people especially at the lower end of the income scale," said Cropf.

He Cropf says a reversal of these high prices could be in the hands of Mother Nature. He also says if we have the same kind of summer this year like we did in 2012, we could be looking at even higher food prices a year from now.


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