Food inflation will “accelerate” during the final months of 2010 and into the first six months of 2011, especially for meat, cereal and dairy products, the U.S. Agriculture Department said Monday.
U.S. food companies have already started to raise prices to blunt price spikes for a number of commodities, including corn, wheat and coffee.
“Although inflation has been relatively weak for most of 2009 and 2010, higher food commodity and energy prices are now exerting pressure on wholesale and retail food prices,” USDA food economist Ephraim Leibtag said.
Pork prices in 2010 are now forecast to rise as much as 5.5% over 2009, compared with the Aug. 25 estimate for an increase of up to 4%, the USDA said in its monthly update. Beef prices are expected to increase up to 3.5% against the previous 3% gain....MORE
...General Mills (GIS 37.54, +0.24, +0.64%) said last week it plans to raise prices on one-fourth of its breakfast cereals, following a 25% jump in wheat prices so far this year. The USDA expects cereal prices to rise 1% to 2% in 2010.
Sara Lee (SLE 14.57, +0.07, +0.48%) in August said it was hiking prices for its breads and deli meats. J.M. Smucker (SJM 63.40, +0.37, +0.59%) , Kraft Foods (KFT 32.46, +0.56, +1.75%) and Starbucks (SBUX 28.50, +0.01, +0.04%) have all raised coffee prices.