Your Thanksgiving meal won’t be gobbling up your paycheck this year. The average cost for a turkey is at its lowest since 2010, according to an annual survey comparing costs for a traditional dinner.
Turkey prices are down about $1.30 per pound this year, or $20.80 for a 16-pound bird, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual survey.
The average cost of a Thanksgiving meal for 10 people is only up 1 cent from last year to $48.91, for a spread that includes pumpkin pie, veggies, rolls, cranberries, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and all the usual fixings.
President Donald Trump’s trade war and ensuing tariffs on imported goods have meant an oversupply of domestically produced goods, in some cases, bringing down prices. “The biggest items seen impacted are soybeans, some pork, cotton, and feed grains,” John Newton, the Federation’s chief economist told NBC News. “Really what it’s done is it may have increased supplies at home, leading to lower input costs.”
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Cubed bread stuffing and canned pumpkin pie mix will also cost less this year.
Holiday ham lovers will see lower prices, with a 4-pound ham down by around $2, partly due to the ripple effects of President Donald Trump’s trade disputes with Mexico and China. Mexico slapped tariffs on imports of U.S. pork after Washington implemented duties on imports of aluminum and steel. That has led to a glut of U.S. pork, bacon, and ribs.
However, some items saw small increases: Dinner rolls, sweet potatoes, and milk.
Additionally, your festivity grocery bill could also see some increases if you’re buying imported wines, spirits or cheeses for the sideboard.
The administration’s 25 percent tariff on $7.5 billion of goods from the European Union includes French wines and scotch whisky, increasing prices, for example, for a bottle of Sancerre from $25 to $30. Popular imported cheeses such as Parmigiano-Reggiano, Délice de Bourgogne, and English Cheddar could reportedly see their prices increase by between $2 and $10 per pound before the end of the year.
Other than those items, this year “we really haven’t seen food price inflation higher than the consumer price index,” said Newton.
While lower prices are good news for consumers, nearly 13,000 farms went out of business in 2018, according to the USDA. Low commodity prices over the past five years have been a key factor, exacerbated when agricultural exports to China were curtailed last year as part of the ongoing U.S.-China trade war. That put further pressure on farms operating on thin margins.
Farms filing for Chapter 12 bankruptcies — the liquidation or financial restructuring plan most frequently filed by family farmers — rose by 13 percent from July 2018 to June 2019 over the year prior, according to American Farm Bureau Federation figures.
“Americans continue to enjoy the most affordable food supply in the world, but most don’t realize only 8 cents of every dollar consumers spend on food goes to farmers,” said Newton.
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