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USDA forecasts flat to lower produce prices

( USDA )

Low retail price inflation is anticipated for fresh fruits and vegetables for the remainder of the year and into 2019, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report.

In the Food Price report released July 25, the department reported that fresh vegetable prices fell 0.2% from May to June, and now are 0.8% lower than in June 2017. The USDA said retail fresh vegetable prices are expected to remain steady with last year, changing between -0.5% to 0.5% percent in 2018 and then increasing 1.5% to 2.5% percent in 2019. 

The USDA said prices for fresh fruits fell 1.2% from May to June but are up 1.9% compared with June 2017. The report said that despite citrus prices rising 2.3%, prices for apples and bananas fell 0.4%, and prices for all other fruits fell 4% from May to June.

The USDA forecasts fresh fruit prices to increase 1.5% to 2.5% in 2018 and rise 2% to 3% in 2019. 

The report said farm level fruit prices are forecast to drop between 2.5% to 3.5% and drop another 3% to 4% in 2019. Farm-level vegetable prices are forecast to drop between 6% and 7% this year and decline an additional 2.5% to 3.5% in 2019.

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