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Trade News

Each day TFO Canada publishes a sample of trade news on the Canadian import market along with any new, updated or changed regulations and legislations regarding international trade; countries in which TFO Canada offers services and on the export sectors which it promotes.


Canadian Market: Higher food prices heading to a grocery store near you

Monday, December 08, 2014 > 09:03:28

(Grocery Business)

Canadian consumers will be paying more at the grocery checkout next year with food prices expected to rise as much as 2.4 per cent, according to the University of Guelph’s Food Institute.

Meat, seafood and vegetables will see the biggest price increases, according to the 2015 Food Price Report. Overall food prices are expected to rise between 0.3 to 2.4 per cent, a range that the report characterizes as “modest.” 

Weather is expected to have an increasingly significant effect on overall food prices in the long term, the report says: “As droughts have been increasing in recent years, the impact of climate conditions and catastrophic weather events increasingly creates upward pressures on food prices. A significant proportion of Canadian food is imported, and events such as the droughts in California and Brazil affect domestic retail prices of imported fruit and coffee, respectively. Conversely, dry weather in southeast Asia has increased prices for cooking oils.”

Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, one of the study’s authors, told CTV News that food prices are also affected by a weaker Canadian dollar. “Our dollar is going down, and therefore our buying power is also going down. So we’re going to have to pay more to import foods next year.”

The report noted that Canada’s food retail and distribution landscape in 2014 saw “significant change,” including the major retail acquisitions of Shopper’s Drug Mart by Loblaw, and Canada Safeway by Sobeys.

“Financially, most food distributors performed surprisingly well despite dealing with the effects of a mature market… The dynamism seen in the 2014 food retail landscape will stabilize in 2015, with Loblaws and Sobeys recalibrating resources around their newest acquisitions. The significant consolidations that occurred will limit the opportunity to consolidate further in the coming year, but may see more of it in food processing,” the report said.

Increases expected for specific food categories include:

  • Meat: 3% to 5%

  • Fish & Seafood: 3% to 5%

  • Dairy & Eggs: -1% to 1%

  • Grains: 0% to 2%

  • Fruit & Nuts: 1% to 3%

  • Vegetables: 3% to 5%

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