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Cheaper Christmas dinner cheer

Monday, December 22, 2014 - 02:21

The cost of Christmas dinner is set to decline for the first time in four years as abundant global supplies lead to lower food commodity prices. But as Hayley Platt reports not every seasonal treat will be cheaper.

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Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. It's one extravagance many who celebrate don't like to scrimp on. And this year they may not have to. Commodity prices have fallen and the ingredients that go into making a turkey dinner are 5 percent cheaper. It's the first fall after three consecutive years of rises. Brian Smith is from Mintec, authors of the Christmas Index report. SOUNDBITE: Brian Smith, Data Director, Mintec, saying (English): "If we go back to 2011/2012 we had very low end in stocks and poor harvests and that drove up prices to unprecedented highs. We've now seen two years of bumper crops which have replenished the end in stocks but also then brought prices back down to more normal levels." The cost of turkey is down 4 percent (-4%) While pork has fallen more than three times that (-14%) So too has the price of sprouts and potatoes (-15%) - thanks to bumper crops due to good weather The sweet mince meat that goes into the festive pies is also cheaper (15%) That's good news for diners like Terry and Linda. SOUNDBITE: Linda, Christmas diner, saying (English): "It will help. I don't earn loads of money so obviously every little bit that you can get, its good for most people's pocket." SOUNDBITE: Terry Hicks, Christmas diner, saying (English): "I'm hoping it's not just Christmas dinners that are cheap, I'm hoping it's all around cheaper prices." Dessert may disappoint though. Cocoa is about 10 per cent higher pushing up the cost of chocolate, while coffee is 60% more expensive due to a drought in Brazil. Nuts are also set to soar. Hazelnuts could more than double in price thanks to frost damage in Turkey. While a drought in California has pushed up the cost of almonds by a fifth Still there are reasons to be cheerful. The fall in oil prices is also giving producers a boost. SOUNDBITE: Brian Smith, Data Director, Mintec, saying (English): "A lot of raw material prices will come down because of the significant decrease in crude oil prices which will have an impact on utilities manufacturing costs and more importantly distribution costs." The lower prices are already filtering through. Christmas dinner at Wetherspoons in the UK is £5 cheaper than last year. And the word seems to be getting out - could this really be Santa tucking in ahead of a busy Christmas eve?

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Cheaper Christmas dinner cheer

Monday, December 22, 2014 - 02:21