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Summary

  • Rapid price increases have occurred not just in beef, but in pork and shrimp as well.
  • Other food and agricultural commodities, such as eggs, coffee, and some fruits/vegetables have risen dramatically, or are expected to do so this year.
  • This kind of price inflation affects many people directly, and is a bit under-reported by the Fed in their inflation data.

There's been some media attention in recent days about the fact that beef prices have risen to multi-year highs - articles discussing how the price of a good steak is rising dramatically, for example.

But there is additional food inflation going on currently in a wide variety of areas - and this is the kind of inflation that affects the majority of people directly, and one which the Fed seems a bit oblivious about in their reported price inflation data. Also affected are the restaurant and packaged goods industries - some more than others.

Just for example, see the following 5 charts: (the first 4 are from zerohedge.com, the 5th from wsj.comand is only a projection of price increases)

Beef Prices Chart

Pork Prices Chart

Shrimp Prices Chart

Egg Prices Chart

Produce Price Rise Projections

There are different factors/explanations involved in why each of these different markets are rising - drought, disease, etc. It's not just the above mentioned commodities, for example, the Coffee ETF (NYSEARCA:JO) is up huge this year.

JO Daily Chart
(click to enlarge)

As far as ETFs that directly move with these types of food-related agricultural commodities, investors and traders can look at UBS CMCI Food Total Return Index ETF (NYSEARCA:FUD), (but keep in mind that it is lightly traded). The more widely known PowerShares DB Agriculture ETF (NYSEARCA:DBA) is also up big in 2014 so far. Ditto for iPath Grains ETF (NYSEARCA:JJG).

DBA Daily Chart
(click to enlarge)

And that is not even mentioning other non-food commodities that have rallied in 2014, such as Crude Oil (NYSEARCA:USO) and Natural Gas (NYSEARCA:UNG). Even Gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) is higher this year.

While there's a variety of things we could write and comment about all of this - for the active investor and option trader, the most relevant point is: there's always a bull (and bear) market somewhere.

Source: It's Not Just Beef Prices That Are Rising