Survey reflects strong demand
» June 23, 2004 «
Strong demand for beef and dairy products affects consumer prices heading into the Fourth of July holiday, according to a survey of California supermarkets.
The Farm Bureau survey showed higher average prices, compared to a similar survey last year, for ground beef, tri-tip roast, all-beef hot dogs, milk, cheese and butter.
But average prices for a half-gallon of vanilla ice cream were lower than in last year's survey, and prices for holiday favorites such as watermelon, lettuce and lemonade have also declined.
Prices for the complete summertime market basket of 21 food items averaged $49.35, up 15 percent from the 2003 survey. Prices for a full market basket ranged from a low of $33.82 at a Chico store to a high of $57.29 at a Salinas market.
"Prices will vary from year to year, but the underlying fact remains that plentiful, safe and affordable food supports American prosperity and health," said California Farm Bureau Federation President Bill Pauli.
Demand for American beef has stayed strong while supplies remain tight, affecting retail prices nationwide. But Pauli said supermarket prices for milk and dairy products should soon begin to reflect decreases in on-farm milk prices.
"The average price that California dairy farmers earn for a gallon of milk will drop 33 cents on July 1st," he said, "and we hope wholesalers and retailers will pass that along to consumers."
He said shoppers will also see prices decline for California-grown peaches, nectarines and plums.
"Growers have been selling tree fruit at a loss," Pauli said. "We expect that retailers will begin offering lower prices and special promotions. That, in turn, should stimulate demand for farmers who face a very difficult situation."
The supermarket survey was conducted by county Farm Bureau volunteers and staff members between June 14 and June 22. Participants checked retail prices at 21 markets in 18 counties: Butte, Humboldt, Imperial, Lake, Los Angeles, Modoc, Monterey, Mendocino, Napa, Nevada, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Stanislaus and Yolo.
|Item||Average Price||Low Price||High Price|
|Ground beef, lb.||2.77||1.75||4.59|
|Beef tri-tip, lb.||6.05||2.88||12.86|
|Hot Dogs, all beef, lb.||3.32||.99||4.69|
|Whole fryers, lb.||1.52||.69||5.17|
|Milk, 1%, gallon||3.81||2.80||4.99|
|Cheese, mild cheddar, lb.||4.04||1.89||5.49|
|Vanilla ice cream, half-gallon||3.61||2.00||5.99|
|Lemonade, frozen, 12 oz.||1.21||.45||1.79|
|Whole wheat bread, 24 oz. loaf||2.32||.89||3.49|
|Hot dog buns, pkg.||1.61||.68||2.59|
|Raisins, 15 oz. box.||2.30||1.26||2.99|
|Stewed tomatoes, 14.5 oz. can||1.05||.45||1.69|
|Iceberg lettuce, each||1.00||.49||1.29|
|Grapes, red flame, lb.||2.19||.88||2.99|
|Grapes, Thompson seedless, lb.||2.09||.88||3.99|
|TOTAL||$ 49.35||$ 33.82||$ 57.29|
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