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Bethan Wilkins

Analyst

AHDB Pork Market Intelligence

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Are rises in UK food prices out of line with global trends?

Home \ Prices & Stats \ News \ 2018 \ September \ Are rises in UK food prices out of line with global trends?

Food prices have been hitting headlines in recent months.

The UK CPIH* has increased by 2.3% year-on-year, to July 2018, according to the Office for National Statistics.  Meanwhile the food category of the CPIH increased by 1.9%, with meat recording a 1.6% rise and dairy products up almost 3%. During the same period, transport has risen by 6%.

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In the US, food prices have risen by 1% year-on-year to July 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index (CPI). Meat (which excludes poultry) prices have declined by almost 1% which was driven by a decline in pork prices while beef recorded a slight increase. The decline in food prices in Ireland was driven by almost all categories, including meat which recorded a decline of 3%, according to CSO Ireland. Within this, beef and lamb both recorded declines, of 5% and 6% respectively, while pork prices increased by 3%.

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The Food and Agriculture Organisation produces a global food price index, which in August recorded a 5% year-on-year decline, drive by declines in the oils (-16%) and sugar (-23%) categories and also supported by a decline in dairy (-11%). Meat also recorded declines, albeit smaller, while cereals prices rose 10%. The decline within meat has been almost entirely due to sharp declines within pig meat, and poultry. During August, the FAO ovine meat index stood 11% higher year-on-year, with some of the prior months recording growth of over 30%. Bovine meat remained steady on the year, while pig meat has bucked the red meat trend, recording a 13% decline.

Overall, the UK is not alone in recording rises in food prices recently, with many other major economies recording similar trends.

*Consumer price index including owner-occupied housing

Due to different methodologies for consumer price index and variations in what is included within food and meat categories data between different countries may not be directly comparable

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Rebecca Oborne, Analyst

rebecca.oborne@ahdb.org.uk, 024 7647 8631