Fresh produce price outlook flat

Retail prices for fresh fruits will be flat for 2017 and increase 2% to 3% in 2018, according to a new government forecast.
 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Price report also predicts fresh vegetable prices will finish 2017 at 0.5% to 1.5% lower than 2016, with the forecast for 2018 calling for flat to 1% higher fresh vegetable prices.
 
In the report, the USDA said 2017 retail supermarket prices for food are expected to range between -0.25% and 0.75% changed compared with 2016.
 
For 2018, the USDA’s Economic Research Service predicted that retail food prices are expected to rise between 1% and 2%.
 
The USDA said that because of deflation in 2016 and for more than half of 2017, expected price increases would still leave overall price levels in 2018 lower than in 2015.
 
Meanwhile, farm level grower prices for fruit are expected to increase 1% to 2% in 2017 but drop 6.5% to 7.5% in 2018, according to the USDA. Farm level vegetable prices are expected to decrease 1% to 2% in 2017 and slip 7% to 8% lower in 2018.
 

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