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Foodservice prices rise again in July despite easing in commodity markets

Latest CGA Prestige Foodservice Price Index reveals sixth consecutive month of double-digit inflation and concerns about droughts

The foodservice sector continues to face high levels of inflation despite relief in some commodities, the latest edition of the CGA Prestige Foodservice Price Index shows. Prices in all ten categories of the Index recorded upward year-on-year movement, with two experiencing inflation of more than 20%. Nine categories saw a month-on-month increase as well, with prices in two—Dairy and Oils & Fats climbing by around 4% from June. Overall, food prices increased by 1.6% over the month, and year-on-year inflation stayed in double digits for the sixth month in a row. The sharp increases come despite a drop in food commodity markets. The FAO Food Price Index, which tracks monthly changes in the global prices of a basket of food commodities, fell by 8.6% during July, as markets were encouraged by the resumption of grain exports through the Black Sea, better-than-expected crop harvests and the start of a global economic slowdown. However, while the drop in commodity prices is welcome, various uncertainties—especially around weather conditions—mean conditions are likely to remain extremely volatile. With ten of the Environment Agency’s 14 areas now officially in drought, the National Drought Group has agreed a range of measures to support farmers and growers, but the risk of reduced yields is now high. The European Drought Observatory has meanwhile reported that nearly half of Europe is under warning conditions, leading to forecasts that summer crop yields may be 16% below average—which will push up the cost of the UK’s food imports. Prestige Purchasing CEO Shaun Allen said: “Whilst welcome news it’s too early to say whether the July easing in food commodity markets will continue. Instability continues to be the dominant feature of food and drink markets, and we predict that this will continue into 2023, with inflation increasing further this year before it falls. With so many other pressures it would be easy for operators to take the eye off the ball of managing supply prices, which in this market could be very costly.” James Ashurst, client director at CGA by NielsenIQ, said: “July was another tough month across the foodservice sector, and any relief in price inflation seems likely to be temporary. Drought conditions are a particular worry as we look towards the remainder of 2022, and with consumers’ spending also under mounting pressure, conditions are going to remain tough for many months to come.”


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