Food Price Outlook
Anticipated Trends in Food Prices for 2023
In the upcoming year, a range of adjustments is expected in the prices of 12 food-at-home categories. The forecasted percentage changes for each category include beef and veal (4.0 percent), other meats (4.6 percent), poultry (3.4 percent), fish and seafood (0.4 percent), dairy products (4.0 percent), fats and oils (9.3 percent), fresh vegetables (0.9 percent), processed fruits and vegetables (8.5 percent), sugar and sweets (8.9 percent), cereals and bakery products (8.5 percent), nonalcoholic beverages (7.2 percent), and other foods (6.8 percent). The prediction intervals for these categories all fall at or above zero.
Beef and Veal:
In October 2023, beef and veal prices witnessed a 1.0 percent increase, reaching a level 8.9 percent higher than October 2022. Notably, prices have consistently risen each month in 2023, a departure from the trend observed in 2022 when prices either fell or remained steady for 10 months. The projected increase for beef and veal prices in 2023 is 4.0 percent, with a prediction interval ranging from 3.3 to 4.8 percent.
October 2023 saw a 1.7 percent increase in pork prices, continuing a trend of monthly increments since July 2023. However, despite this recent upturn, October prices were only 0.3 percent higher than October 2022 due to earlier decreases. Predictions for 2023 indicate an anticipated decrease of 0.4 percent, with a prediction interval spanning from -1.0 to 0.2 percent, highlighting the uncertainty in pork pricing.
Retail Eggs and Poultry:
Retail egg prices saw a modest 0.1 percent increase from September to October 2023, standing significantly lower (22.2 percent) than October 2022 prices. The ongoing outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in 2022-23 impacted egg and poultry prices by reducing U.S. egg-layer and poultry flocks. The outbreak, affecting over 63 million birds, 371 commercial flocks, and 47 states, saw HPAI confirmed in commercial egg layers in November 2023 for the first time since December 2022 and in commercial turkey flocks in October 2023 for the first time since April 2023. Price impacts of the outbreak will be closely monitored. Projections suggest a 0.4 percent increase in egg prices for 2023, with a prediction interval from -1.0 to 2.0 percent. Poultry prices are predicted to increase by 3.4 percent, with a prediction interval of 3.0 to 3.8 percent.
Fats and Oils:
In October 2023, prices for fats and oils increased by 1.8 percent, marking a 2.8 percent rise compared to October 2022. Predictions for 2023 foresee a continued upward trend, with an anticipated increase of 9.3 percent and a prediction interval ranging from 8.8 to 9.8 percent. The high within-year price growth experienced in 2022, exceeding 20 percent, contributes to the difference between the forecasted annual change and its recent year-over-year trend.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables:
Fresh fruit prices increased by 0.9 percent from September to October 2023, partially influenced by seasonal factors. In contrast, fresh vegetable prices decreased by 0.6 percent in October 2023, unrelated to seasonal factors. Projections indicate a continuation of slow growth relative to other categories from 2022. Prices for fresh fruits are predicted to increase by 0.5 percent in 2023, with a prediction interval of -0.1 to 1.2 percent. Fresh vegetable prices are anticipated to rise by 0.9 percent in 2023, with a prediction interval of 0.3 to 1.6 percent.