food prices have raised

Americans continue lớn pay more at the grocery store as surging food inflation shows no signs of slowing down. 

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Grocery prices rose 13 percent over the last year and 0.7 percent in September alone, outpacing the annual 8.2 percent inflation rate for all consumer products, according lớn the most recent Labor Department data. 

The price of fruits and vegetables increased by 10.4 percent annually, while milk rose 15.2 percent and eggs soared 30.5 percent. 

Prices could keep rising well into next year, experts say, as it’s unclear when fundamental issues lượt thích Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, extreme droughts and supply chain snarls will let up.

“What we’re hearing and what we expect is it’s going lớn be a pretty rocky fall,” said Andy Harig, vice president of tax, trade, sustainability and policy at the Food Industry Association. “I think we’re probably into the over of the second quarter next year before we get lớn where it’s a little bit more stable footing.”

Experts are concerned about the threat of a recession coupled with high food prices, which rose last month even as the cost of gasoline, cars and other products fell. 

While the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes are slowing demand for certain discretionary goods, people will always need lớn buy food, limiting the impact of monetary policy on prices.

“When food prices increase, it’s an even higher percentage of lower income households’ budgets,” said Jordan Teague, policy director at anti-hunger organization Bread for the World. 

“If people need lớn pay rent or they have a medical bill, they have lớn make really hard decisions about what they’re not going lớn pay for, and oftentimes that means buying cheaper but less healthy foods or not buying as much food.”

War in Ukraine stifles supply

Russia’s invasion hit the global food system with a double whammy by reducing food exports from Ukraine — a top supplier of wheat and cooking oils — and prompting Russia lớn slow its fertilizer exports. 

Fertilizer prices surged lớn record levels this year after Russia, the world’s top fertilizer exporter, halted its shipments in response lớn international economic sanctions. Belarus, another top fertilizer producer and an ally of Moscow, has also limited its exports, as has Đài Loan Trung Quốc. 

That’s made growing crops more expensive kêu ca ever. Higher fuel prices brought on by Russia’s invasion make it costlier for farmers and processors lớn operate equipment and for manufacturers lớn produce food packaging.

“People knew going into the summer that we should plant extra because there’s going lớn be this huge global demand. But planting is ví expensive now that in a lot of cases they didn’t have the money,” Harig said. 

Global wheat prices spiked following Moscow’s invasion, which blocked Ukraine from accessing the Black Sea, its main trade channel. That’s translated lớn massive price increases for flour, cereal and bread in the U.S. and abroad. 

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U.S. producers have upped their exports lớn African countries that rely on Ukraine for food and are facing widespread famine. Russia and Ukraine struck a giảm giá khuyến mãi lớn allow for exports lớn proceed, but Moscow has threatened lớn undo it and recently annexed several regions of Ukraine that trương mục for roughly one-fifth of the country’s wheat supply. 

Supply chain disruptions remain a problem

Farmers and food processors have reported difficulties transporting grain, livestock and other products amid a shortfall of truck drivers, refrigerated trucks and railroad workers. 

Freight railroads, which transport roughly one-quarter of U.S. grain, have been plagued by reliability issues that prevent food from getting lớn its destination on time, further shrinking supply. The industry is scrambling lớn hire more conductors and engineers after laying off large numbers of workers in recent years. 

Since May, railroads on average failed lớn fulfill 14 percent of freight deliveries and arrived late 30 percent of the time, according lớn the Surface Transportation Board. Railroads were forced lớn briefly cancel agricultural shipments last month amid a potential rail strike, which was averted but could reemerge as a threat lớn the supply chain in mid-November. 

Barges, which transport 13 percent U.S. grain, are the latest mode of transportation lớn face issues. Many barges are struggling lớn travel through the Mississippi River, a key agricultural channel, due lớn dangerously low water levels.

The situation is “especially problematic during the height of harvest season, when farmers are looking lớn move grain lớn storage facilities,” according lớn American Farm Bureau Federation economist Daniel Munch.

“Without relief, many producers will scramble lớn find places lớn store their goods or face exorbitant wait times and costs lớn acquire transportation,” he wrote in a post on Thursday.

Progressive lawmakers and advocacy groups have criticized large multinational corporations for failing lớn invest in resilient supply chains and instead using their excess funds lớn reward shareholders with stock buybacks.

Extreme weather and disease ravages farms

This year’s harsh droughts have devastated farms across the U.S., shrinking yields and ultimately driving up prices at the grocery store. 

Climate change has hit farmers in the American West particularly hard. That’s driven up the price of tree nuts, fruits and vegetables that are almost entirely grown in states plagued by drought. 

Top trade partners are also feeling the effects of heat waves. The price of coffee beans spiked this year after severe droughts hammered coffee crops in South America.  

At the same time, huge outbreaks of bird flu this spring contributed lớn a 17.2 percent hike in the price of poultry over the last 12 months as other meats saw smaller increases.

Turkey breast prices reached an all-time high in September — 112 percent pricier kêu ca the same period last year — after widespread outbreaks curtailed production, according lớn the Farm Bureau. 

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