ALABAMA FOOD PRICES DROP 1 PERCENT IN APRIL
MONTGOMERY, Ala.-- Alabama shoppers paid less for meat, poultry and dairy products in April, but soaring prices for tomatoes and lettuce offset much of the savings, resulting in an overall decline of 1 percent in the cost of 20 basic market basket items. According to the Alabama Farmers Federation's monthly food price survey, the market basket averaged $45.08 this month, down 25 cents from March.
|Soaring lettuce prices offset savings in other areas of the supermarket this month, according to the Alabama Farmers Federation's food price survey.|
Agriculture officials in California and Arizona said an unusually wet winter coupled with skyrocketing fuel costs led to a 17 percent jump in produce prices this month. At Alabama supermarkets, lettuce was up 63 cents to $1.65 a head. Tomatoes were up 2 cents to $1.58 a pound, following a 39-cent increase last month. The price of red potatoes, however, remained unchanged at 73 cents a pound, and sweet potatoes prices were typical for this time of year at 82 cents a pound, up 4 cents.
Meanwhile, shoppers could find bargains on meat and dairy products in April. Beef prices dropped 2 percent with T-bone steaks averaging $8.35 a pound, down 8 cents, while chuck roasts dropped a quarter to $3.05 a pound. Ground beef was up 7 cents to $2.22 a pound, but pork prices were mixed with bacon averaging $3.11 a pound, down 17 cents, while Boston butts were up 21 cents to $1.72 a pound. Chops also were less expensive at $3.18 a pound, down 12 cents. Overall, poultry prices fell 5 percent with chicken breasts averaging $2.11 a pound, down 20 cents, while whole fryers were up 4 cents to 94 cents a pound. Eggs remained a good buy at 87 cents a dozen, down 2 cents.
In the dairy case, savings on ice cream and butter made up for higher milk prices. Butter averaged $3.20 a pound, down 7 cents, and a half-gallon of ice cream was 14 cents cheaper at $2.95. Milk was up 9 cents to $2.15 a half-gallon.
Regional reports collected by volunteer shoppers around the state April 1-7 showed the market basket averaged $43.56 in northwest Alabama, $44.79 in the central counties, $44.95 in the northeast corner of the state and $46.94 in south Alabama.