Why are Bread Prices Surging in San Angelo?
The Lord's Prayer famously says: "Give us this day our daily bread". During the French Revolution Queen Marie Antoinette when told that the peasants were angry over rising bread costs, famously said, "Let Them Eat Cake". Today, people are struggling as prices are rising nearly 10% a month.
Even in this deluge of inflation, we are lucky in San Angelo as food prices in general are 5-9% less than the U.S. average. Plus, we have access to great fresh food items due to our local growers and the San Angelo Farmer's Market. Even so, we're all cutting back.
I thought I was saving money by eating more sandwiches. Suddenly, even that started becoming more difficult. I mean what is up with the price of bread? It's a question we're all asking and the answer is scary
The average per-pound price of white bread in the U.S. has surged more than 25% since the pandemic began. And premium loaves of bread are selling for as much as $10. Earlier in the week, when I picked up a loaf of my favorite honey baked bread at San Angelo's Walmart, I ended up putting it back on the shelf. They were charging nearly $4 for it. Suddenly, I can't even afford peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!
One noted economic analyst told Bloomberg that the price of bread can have "the same impact as gasoline hitting $5 a gallon". I think he's right, although for the time being I'm ok with cutting back on bread, as I'm trying to lose weight.
So what's going on?
The cost of bread is baded on a tripling of disturbing factors. First, many experts blame it is caused by the war in Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine account for 25% of global wheat supplies. The war in the region has brought production in that region to a standstill.
Second, production costs for bread are still challenged by supply chain issues caused by Covid.
Thirdly, the costs of transporting wheat and baked goods to stores is going up with the higher fuel costs. Together, it makes for a perfect storm of "breadflation". Yea, they're actually using that word. The situation is not getting better anytime soon as flour prices are set to increase another 35% before July ends.
This doesn't just effect bread prices but all of our favorite baked goods. The price of many treats, including donuts and pastries also are rising. Now, that's where I draw the line. If the price of donuts goes up, that's when someone HAS to do something.
The trends continue to look bad, but there was a new development just today. Today, (7 22 2022) Russia and Ukraine agreed to resume grain exports. This could be good news for later in the year. If they don't end up blowing each other's exports up, this could help prices come down somewhat by the end of the year.
Ironically, the word "bread" became slang for money in the 70's. Back then, no one could have ever predicted just how accurate the using "bread" as slang for money would actually become.
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