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3:13 PM Sun, Oct. 21st

Trump’s tariffs may mean lower food prices

Adobe Images

Adobe Images

PHOENIX – Like ham?

Item / 3rd qtr 2018 / Prior qtr / A year ago

Red delicious apples (pound) / $1.35 / $1.25 / $1.55

Russet potatoes (5 pounds) / $2.16 / $2.24 / $2.71

Ground chuck (pound) / $3.27 / $2.97 / $3.60

Sirloin tip roast (pound) / $6.54 / $7.39 / $6.20

Sliced deli ham (pound) / $3.38 / $3.49 / $4.29

Bacon (pound) / $4.69 / $4.39 / $5.57

Boneless chicken breasts (pound) / $2.87 / $3.10 / $3.08

Whole milk (gallon) / $2.15 / $1.99 / $2.19

Shredded mild cheddar cheese (pound) / $4.36 / $4.56 / $4.84

Grade A eggs (dozen) / $1.83 / $1.88 / $1.59

All-purpose flour (5 pounds) / $1.89 / $1.82 / $1.90

Orange juice (1/2 gallon) / $2.54 / $2.79 / $3.00

Vegetable oil (quart) / $1.43 / $1.71 / $1.41

American salad mix (pound) / $2.69 / $2.73 / $2.65

Toasted oat cereal (8.9 ounce box) / $3.17 / $3.29 / $2.95

White bread (20 ounce) / $1.36 / $1.30 / $0.97

Source: Arizona Farm Bureau Federation

Market basket of 16 selected basic items:

2018 3rd qtr -- $46.13

2018 2nd qtr -- $46.90

2018 1st qtr -- $48.14

2017 4th qtr -- $45.25

2017 3rd qtr -- $48.50

2017 2nd qtr -- $46.06

2017 1st qtr -- $49.16

2016 4th qtr -- $47.07

2016 3rd qtr -- $48.72

2016 2nd qtr -- $49.26

2016 1st qtr -- $51.20

2015 4th qtr -- $51.15

2015 3rd qtr -- $54.57

2015 2nd qtr -- $50.88

2015 1st qtr -- $50.29

2014 4th qtr -- $53.02

2014 3rd qtr -- $50.88

2014 2nd qtr -- $52.64

2014 1st qtr -- $52.40

2013 4th qtr -- $51.62

2013 3rd qtr -- $50.87

2013 2nd qtr -- $47.97

2013 1st qtr -- $49.75

2012 4th qtr -- $50.54

2012 3rd qtr -- $49.25

2012 2nd qtr -- $51.19

2012 1st qtr -- $50.79

2011 4th qtr -- $51.39

2011 3rd qtr -- $50.71

2011 2nd qtr -- $51.31

2011 1st qtr -- $47.85

2010 4th qtr -- $45.44

2010 3rd qtr -- $46.48

2010 2nd qtr -- $48.84

2010 1st qtr -- $45.96

2009 4th qtr -- $45.89

2009 3rd qtr -- $46.02

2009 2nd qtr -- $50.89

2009 1st qtr -- $54.43

(all figures in actual dollars at the time, not adjusted for inflation)

Source: Arizona Farm Bureau Federation

Prices could be dropping, courtesy of President Donald Trump.

Julie Murphree, spokeswoman for the Arizona Farm Bureau Federation, said the trade war with China has resulted in that country putting new tariffs on U.S. pork products. At last count, the tariffs hit 60 percent.

And what that means, Murphree said, is that U.S. producers of pork are now sitting on products that they used to export before it became too expensive for Chinese consumers to buy.

And that's a lot of pigs. CNBC reports that one out of every four hogs raised in the U.S. is shipped overseas, with a large percentage going to China – at least until now.

"There is the possibility that it will benefit you and me as the consumer because if we're losing out on our global market, we've got plenty of supply,'' Murphree said.

But other factors could work the other way.

"We lost thousands of animals to the flooding,'' Murphree said of the effects of Hurricane Florence that hit the Carolinas.

Still, if what Farm Bureau surveyors are finding at Arizona grocery stores is any indication, the prices are being pushed down.

A year ago, a pound of sliced deli ham was selling for $4.29 a pound.

Then Trump put tariffs on Chinese steel. They retaliated with a 25 percent duty on pork.

That dropped ham prices found in Arizona to $3.49 a pound.

Since then the tariffs have been hiked to more than 60 percent in what has become a tit-for-tat process between the U.S. and China.

Bacon is selling for $4.69 a pound. While that's up 30 cents from last quarter, it's still 88 cents less than a year ago.

Overall, the quarterly survey of 16 basic grocery items had a price tag of $46.13. That's 77 cents less than last quarter and $2.37 less than a year ago.

The prices reflect what Farm Bureau shoppers found at grocery stores around the state who took advantage of advertised sales when available. But it does not include other discounts some stores make available to those who have "affinity'' cards connected to the chain.