India uses wheat stockpile to fight inflation

India is drawing down its government-held wheat reserves more rapidly than expected as it tries to control inflation, said the monthly Wheat Outlook on Monday. USDA analysts lowered by 2.1 million metric tons their estimate of India's wheat supply at the end of this marketing year.

Americans expect high food inflation to persist

Despite the recent slowdown in the rise of food prices, many consumers believe high food inflation will persist for a year to come, said Purdue researchers on Wednesday. Republicans were far more likely than Democrats to predict higher food prices, suggesting a partisan tint in expectations.

As food inflation rate falls, consumer optimism rises

The U.S. food inflation rate, on the decline since August 2022, shrank to an annualized rate of 2.7 percent at the end of 2023, said the monthly Consumer Price Index report on Thursday. A Purdue survey said Americans’ expectations of food inflation are the lowest in two years, suggesting consumers are more optimistic about prices this year.

Farmers’ inflation fears fade

Seven out of 10 farmers expect a U.S. inflation rate below 4 percent this year, a sharp turn in sentiment from the start of 2023, when half of producers expected inflation to exceed 6 percent, said a Purdue University poll released on Tuesday. The most recent Consumer Price Index report pegged inflation at 3.1 percent.

After a bobble, grocery inflation trends downward again

Retail pork prices soared last year, part of an overall 11.4 percent increase in grocery prices, but they will decline this year by 1.1 percent, said USDA's monthly Food Price Outlook on Monday. The report forecast a grocery inflation rate of 5.1 percent this year and a below-normal 1.6 percent in the new year.

Food inflation rate is lowest in two years

Although the U.S. inflation rate is up for the second month in a row, the annualized food inflation rate of 4.3 percent is the lowest since the 3.7 percent rate in August 2021, said the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Wednesday. The food inflation rate has fallen each month since peaking at 11.4 percent in August 2022.

Inflation and weather cloud global cotton outlook

Although world cotton production is forecast to be the highest in six years, there are “some concerning dark clouds on the horizon” as the 2023/24 season begins, said the International Cotton Advisory Committee.

Grocery inflation rate in 2024 forecast as lowest in five years

In its first forecast of 2024 food costs, the government said grocery prices would climb by a modest 0.9 percent next year. If so, it would be the lowest annual grocery inflation rate in five years and mark the end of the period of high food inflation that followed the pandemic. Also on Tuesday, USDA economists lowered their forecast of grocery price inflation for this year for the fifth month in a row.

Summer cookout costs ease a bit

Chicken breasts and pork chops cost less at the supermarket than a year ago, and that will slightly bring down the price of a summer cookout, said the largest U.S. farm group on Tuesday. Still, the price tag for the groceries needed to feed 10 people lemonade, ice cream, burgers, potato salad, and other cookout fare would be the second-highest in the 11 years of the unofficial survey conducted ahead of Independence Day.

GOP senators eye climate bill funding as way to fatten farm bill accounts

Farm-state senators will try to move $37 billion into the farm bill that originally was earmarked for a handful of USDA activities, including climate mitigation, in the climate, health and tax law last summer, said a Senate Agriculture Committee senior staffer on Monday.

Farmers face sharply higher interest rates on loans

The financial outlook for many farmers is favorable, thanks to high commodity prices, but higher interest rates are an ongoing concern, according to ag bankers surveyed by the Federal Reserve. Interest rates on loans to farmers were 3.5 to 4.5 percentage points higher in the opening months of this year than they were at the end of 2021.

Food inflation below 10 percent for first time since April

Although food inflation slowed for the sixth month in a row, it still was far above the annualized U.S. inflation rate of 6 percent, said the Labor Department on Tuesday. The food inflation rate of 9.5 percent was the lowest since last April, the last time the rate was below 10 percent.

Food inflation rate decelerates, though still high

The U.S. food inflation rate fell for the fifth month in a row to 10.1 percent for the past year, said the Labor Department on Tuesday. Food, the second-largest consumer expenditure after housing, was a factor in the persistently high U.S. inflation rate. USDA analysts estimate food prices will rise by 7.1 percent this year, the highest in three decades although a slowdown from 2022.

Food affordability remains a global challenge

Fears of persistently high world food prices, sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and disruption of global supply chains, have subsided but food affordability remains a challenge at the household and macro-economic levels, said three analysts on Tuesday. “These risks will remain high” in …

Plan for prolonged period of higher interest rates, analysts tell farmers

The highest interest rates in years will complicate farm finances, and operators should expect higher rates to persist for several years as part of efforts to quash inflation, said a team of agricultural economists on Wednesday. Farmers will pay more when they borrow money, face higher break-even levels on investments, and feel downward pressure on the value of farmland, their largest asset.

Food price inflation slows, though prices still high

The food inflation rate declined in November for the third month in a row to its lowest level since June, said the Labor Department on Tuesday. Despite the improvement, food prices are 10.6 percent higher than they were a year ago, according to the Consumer Price Index report.

Farm income jumps 14 percent to record high

High commodity prices, due in part to warfare in Ukraine, will propel U.S. net farm income to a record $160.5 billion this year, despite a steep climb in expenses, said the Agriculture Department on Thursday. Farm income, a gauge of profitability, would be 14 percent higher than last year.

Interest rates are the top policy concern among farmers

Congress is on the cusp of overhauling the farm program but the top question among farmers about government action is interest rate policy, which lies outside the jurisdiction of the Senate and House Agriculture committees, said a Purdue University poll on Tuesday. Concern about interest rates coincided with the Federal Reserve campaign to squelch inflation through regular increases in interest rates.

Economy is top issue for rural voters, who expect worse to come — poll

By far, inflation is the No. 1 issue in rural America ahead of the midterm elections, said the Daily Yonder Rural Poll on Monday. Six of every 10 of the likely voters in the survey said they would vote for Republicans in congressional races, roughly the same margin won by former president Trump in 2020; three in 10 said they would vote for Democrats.

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