By Julie Murphree, Arizona Farm Bureau: The one constant of food prices is that they will always change. This is brought home to us every time Arizona Farm Bureau does its quarterly
Though a measurement of the past, our
To me, it’s fascinating to measure the food price market especially against what we’re doing in Arizona agriculture, right at the “farm gate” level. It makes me appreciate the relationship between the farmer and rancher and our Arizona families.
In this fourth quarter
A few things.
Let’s take eggs first. We’ve seen a precipitous rise in eggs for the last four quarters in Arizona Farm Bureau’s
- 1Q $1.90
- 2Q $1.86
- 3Q $1.96
- 4Q $2.14
Looking at this trend, we’d default to the conclusion that this might continue. Not so, when we get from the farmer the inside track on what’s taking place with the egg market. “The farm gate value
Another point about
His key point is that eggs and milk demand
So, demand swings for food products that don’t have too much of the
Beef, that also showed an increase this last quarter
In fact, last week meatpackers paid the highest cash prices on record for live, market-ready cattle. The meat industry is grappling with tight cattle supplies due in part to drought in parts of the U.S. Great Plains. Add to that consumer demand – again especially over the holidays – that’s been high and you can expect a price spike in the grocery store. Analysts suggest the higher cattle prices likely will be passed along to you and me in the next several months.
Whatever is going on at the “farm gate” especially with food commodities where the market sets the price, not the farmer or rancher (unless they sell at a farmer’s market; the direct-market environment where the farmer can get away with setting his own price separate from the commodity markets), the mom or dad at the grocery store feels the impact a bit later. In the food industry, they call it sticky prices … in other words there is a bit of a lag time between commodity market impacts versus retail pricing.
In conclusion? Based on this latest
I’m not too worried about eggs. They are the most economical protein I can get regardless of the time of the year I purchase them. And, the prices will most likely be cheaper this spring and summer than the $2-a-dozen I spent just this last weekend. After all, the holiday baking and family gatherings are over until the next big holiday celebration!