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Pandemic results in food price hikes

The pandemic resulted in grocery prices more than five percent higher this past June compared with June 2019. The USDA says retail prices increased for all grocery store food categories except for fresh fruits. The agency says many of the increases were because of the coronavirus pandemic disrupting supply chains and affecting consumers’ food spending patterns.

Spring school closures and stay-at-home orders resulted in dairy suppliers shifting from schools and restaurants to grocery stores and other food retailers. The transition resulted in dairy prices jumping more than five percent from June 2019 to June 2020.

During the same period, COVID-related supply chain disruption caused beef prices to rise more than 25 percent. Pork and egg prices were each about 12 percent higher. Most of the increases happened after February 2020.

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