With corn setting a record of over $7 a bushel, soybean and wheat prices surging, and the consumer already under pressure, it’s not a good time to be in the expensive food business. We’re looking at you Whole Foods (WFMI). NYT:
The higher commodity prices are likely to add to a worldwide inflationary picture that seems to worsen by the day. Prices of many grocery items in the United States have been rising briskly, with some goods like eggs and milk — produced from animals fed with corn — up by 13 to 30 per cent in the past year.
“You know those complaints you’ve been hearing about high food prices? They’ve just begun,” said Jason Ward, an analyst with Northstar Commodity in Minneapolis.
The NYT fingers bad weather and increased global demand as the two primary culprits for soaring food prices, to say nothing of high oil.
Whole Foods (WFMI) is likely very exposed to soaring food prices, as many consumers may trade down to cheaper options. Wal-Mart (WMT), meanwhile, should continue to benefit, especially as they continue to expand their organic food section.
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