In the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Price Outlook report, the Washington, D.C.-based agency reported that although fresh vegetable prices decreased 1% from April to May, prices are 5.2% higher than in May 2018.
“The price indexes for all fresh vegetable components (potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes and other fresh vegetables) continued to show strong year-over-year growth,” according to the report. “Following a 1.1% increase in 2018, this month’s forecast for fresh vegetable prices has again been revised upward, with expectations for an increase in a range between 3-4% in 2019.”
The index of farm-level vegetable prices increased by 3.6% in May and was up 9.6% since the same time last year. The farm-level vegetable producer price index declined 1.7% in 2018, but there will be an increase of 11-12% in producer prices for vegetables this year.
The index for producer prices for fruit decreased 3.7% in May and was 15.9% lower since a year ago. After a decrease of 1.9% in 2018, fruit prices at the farm level in 2019 are expected to decrease between 4-5%.