U.S. faces higher food price inflation 2014, led by meats -USDA

WASHINGTON Fri May 23, 2014 10:13am EDT

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WASHINGTON May 23 (Reuters) - U.S. food price inflation is expected to rise by 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent in 2014, higher than 2013 but roughly in line with long-term norms, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Friday.

The agency evaluated expected increases in overall food, food-at-home and food-away-from-home prices.

Retail prices for certain meats, already at record highs, are expected to keep rising. For the year, USDA forecasts beef and veal prices to increase by 5.5 percent to 6.5 percent and pork prices to rise by 3 percent to 4 percent.

"The ongoing drought in California could potentially have large and lasting effects on fruit, dairy and egg prices, and drought conditions in Texas and Oklahoma could drive beef prices up even further," USDA said. (Reporting by Ros Krasny)

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