USDA Forecasts Fluctuations in Produce Prices

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By Breanna Kendrick

According to the recent U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) consumer price index report on changes to food category forecasts, prices for fresh fruits declined 1.2 percent from May to June but are up 1.9 percent compared with June 2017.

Citrus prices rose 2.3 percent while prices for apples and bananas fell 0.4 percent. Prices for all other fruits fell 4 percent from May to June. USDA’s Economic Research Service expects fresh fruit prices to increase 1.5 to 2.5 percent in 2018 and 2 to 3 percent in 2019.

The USDA forecasts fresh vegetable prices to decrease from May to June, falling 0.2 percent. Fresh vegetable prices are 0.8 percent lower than in June 2017 and are expected to change between -0.5 to 0.5 percent in 2018 but increase 1.5 to 2.5 percent in 2019. Though potato and tomato prices increased in June, retail lettuce prices were 4.3 percent less expensive than in May. Other fresh vegetable prices were down 0.9 percent at the same time.

Farm-level fruit prices increased 0.2 percent in June and are 1.9 percent higher than in June 2017. Farm-level vegetable prices decreased in June, falling 13.8 percent, and prices are 10.4 percent lower than they were this time last year. Farm-level fruit prices are expected to decrease 3.5 to 2.5 percent in 2018 and decline an additional 4 to 3 percent in 2019. Farm-level vegetable prices are anticipated to decrease 7 to 6 percent in 2018 and decrease an additional 3.5 to 2.5 percent in 2019.

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