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How the drought will push up food prices and increase the risk of bushfires this summer

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Soaring food prices, bushfires and a VERY expensive Sunday roast: How the drought will affect YOU

  • More than 99 per cent of New South Wales is suffering from a severe drought 
  • The Bureau of Meteorology is expecting above average summer temperatures
  • It also forecasts little rainfall, which increases the chance of series bushfires 
  • Drought has already pushed up prices of grain and meat and it is likely to worsen 

Australia’s worst drought on record is set to drive up food prices and make barbecues and a Sunday lamb roast very expensive.

The threat of bushfires is also likely to worsen with the weather bureau predicting very little rainfall and above-average temperatures this summer.

The big dry has driven up food prices dramatically affecting everything from breakfast cereal to red meat.

Australia's worst drought on record is set to drive up food prices and make barbecues and a Sunday lamb roast very expensive (stock image)

Australia’s worst drought on record is set to drive up food prices and make barbecues and a Sunday lamb roast very expensive (stock image) 

How the drought has pushed up food prices

LAMB: Prices in Sydney have surged by 13.5 per cent –  a level more than eight times the inflation rate of 1.6 per cent

BEEF: Prices have climbed by 5.7 per cent

BREAD: Prices have climbed by five per cent

CHICKEN: Prices rose by four per cent 

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics Consumer Price Index for the June quarter. Prices relate to the annual increase

Lamb prices in Sydney have surged 13.5 per cent in one year, with a 2.8kg leg of lamb now selling for $30.80 at Woolworths.

The Sunday roast favourite has seen prices increase at a level that is more than eight times the national inflation rate of 1.6 per cent.

Bread prices in Sydney have climbed by five per cent while beef prices have risen by 5.7 per cent, Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed.

Rabobank, which specialises in rural finance, said the drought had reduced Australia’s cattle herd to a  20-year low.

The bank’s senior animal proteins analyst Angus Gidley-Baird said this meant consumers would be paying more at the checkout for beef – even if there was suddenly rain. 

‘Any meaningful rain, particularly in Queensland and New South Wales, would see beef producers – in addition to feedlots and processers – jump back into the market to buy cattle from what is a very limited pool,’ he said in a report.

The threat of bushfires is also likely to worsen with the weather bureau predicting very little rainfall and above-average temperatures this summer (pictured are blazes at Busbys Flat in northern NSW)

The threat of bushfires is also likely to worsen with the weather bureau predicting very little rainfall and above-average temperatures this summer (pictured are blazes at Busbys Flat in northern NSW)

The Bureau of Meteorology is expecting the drought to worsen this summer, from Sydney to southern Queensland and from the outback centre to Perth

The Bureau of Meteorology is expecting the drought to worsen this summer, from Sydney to southern Queensland and from the outback centre to Perth

‘This could see prices rise by more than 20 per cent.’ 

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Kellogg’s has announced it would increase the price of its popular breakfast cereals, as the drought pushed up the price of wheat, corn oats and rice. 

A spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia it would continue to buy its ingredients locally and continue to manufacture its popular cereals, including Corn Flakes and Rice Bubbles, at Botany in Sydney’s south-east.

‘We make most of our iconic cereals here in our NSW factory and, for these cereals, we use 100 per cent Aussie grains,’ she said.

‘Due to the unprecedented drought conditions, the cost of our core ingredients has increased significantly.’

The spokeswoman said Kellogg’s was unable to avoid raising prices for the new financial year.  

‘This wasn’t a decision we took lightly but we are committed to always do everything we can to buy locally and support Australian farmers,’ she said.

Lamb prices in Sydney have surged 13.5 per cent in one year, with a 2.8kg leg of lamb now selling for $30.80 at Woolworths

Lamb prices in Sydney have surged 13.5 per cent in one year, with a 2.8kg leg of lamb now selling for $30.80 at Woolworths

The Bureau of Meteorology is expecting the drought to worsen this summer, from Sydney to southern Queensland and from the outback centre to Perth.

‘Daytime temperatures are likely to be warmer than average across Australia for the remainder of 2019 and early 2020,’ it said.

‘For November to January, most of Australia has a greater than 80 per cent chance of warmer than average days.’

Hotter temperatures and no rain also increases the chance of bushfires. 

Even before the onset of summer, the bushfire threat is now being rated as severe in the Hunter region north of Sydney. 

A very high fire danger warning is in place from the far north coast to the southern ranges. 

More than 99 per cent of New South Wales is in drought, with 32.7 per cent of the state suffering from an intense drought, the Department of Primary Industries said. 

Kellogg's has announced it will increase the price of its popular breakfast cereals, as the drought pushes up prices for wheat, corn oats and rice

Kellogg’s has announced it will increase the price of its popular breakfast cereals, as the drought pushes up prices for wheat, corn oats and rice

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