Updated government retail price forecasts for fresh produce predict 3.5% to 4.5% inflation this year for the category.
That compares to 2% price deflation in 2012 for all fresh produce, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported in May.
The USDA’s Economic Research Service said that retail fresh fruit prices for 2013 are forecast to rise 3% to 4% in 2013, after 1% inflation in 2012 and 3.3% higher prices in 2011. With fresh fruit prices decreasing 0.5% in April, the USDA report said the fresh fruit index is up 1.4% from the same time a year ago.
For April, the Department of Commerce reported the average retail price per pound of red delicious apples was $1.33 per pound, up from $1.26 per pound in April 2012. Retail navel orange prices were 98 cents per pound in April, up from 91 cents per pound the same time a year ago. Retail banana prices, at 60 cents per pound in April, were unchanged from a year ago.
Fresh vegetable retail prices are estimated to climb 4% to 5% in 2013, after a 5.1% decline in retail prices in 2012 and a 5.6% gain in 2011.
The fresh vegetable index declined 2.7% in April, but prices were still up 4.6% compared with the same time last year. The average retail price of tomatoes in April was $1.46 per pound, up from $1.39 per pound in April 2012.
The consumer price of all food consumed at home in 2013 is forecast to climb 2.5% to 3.5%, the same forecast range as food consumed away from home.