Consumer Watch: Beef prices up do to last summers conditions

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by Andy Treinen

WHAS11.com

Posted on July 4, 2012 at 4:33 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 4 at 5:22 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) - - When it comes to cooking out it doesn't get bigger than the Fourth of July. This year it's a mixed basket when it comes to the cost of cookout items.

Happy Fourth of July to all of you WHAS11 readers.

We are now in the heart of summertime, and for the most part the grilling is easy. The overall cost of that July 4 cookout will be a little easier on the wallet. According to a big insight survey, Americans will pay $59.14 for a grocery cart full of burgers, beer and fixings, down about two dollars from last year.
But there's been an uptick in the priciest food item in most baskets: those burgers and steaks.

Beef prices are up more than five percent over last year. The American Farm Bureau Federation says drought conditions last summer are still impacting supply now. “A lot of ranchers had to reduce their herd sizes, a lot of cattle went to market earlier than they otherwise would have. Those kinds of disruptions really take months and sometimes even years to really work their way completely through the market,” explains John Anderson, of the American Farm Bureau Federation Economist. 

But keeping most grocery costs in check is the recent dip in fuel costs, cutting the price of packaging and transportation.

The food inflation has eased slightly. That's more good news for consumers, and perhaps a reason for more cookouts between now and labor day.

Happy grillin' folks, enjoy your Independence Day.
 

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