By Marcus Leach
The recent bad weather experienced in the UK looks set to have caused a longer lasting effect than just flooding, with food prices set to rise.
The National Farmers' Union (NFU) said wheat yields in England were down by almost 15% on the five-year average, with productivity down to 1980s levels, due to the rain.
With the opposite problem, severe drought, in the US, causing a rise in grain costs, food prices have already started to increase, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
“The poor UK harvest compounds a series of challenging weather events for farmers around the world, most notably drought in North America," Chief combinable crops adviser Guy Gagen said.
"The resulting tight supplies of many feed grains have driven up the prices of agricultural commodities around the world. These UK harvest results will do little to alleviate the global dynamics of commodity prices, with the prospect of relatively high commodity levels through to 2013. Cereals prices impact directly on other sectors, especially pig and poultry farmers who are already struggling with higher feed costs.”
This summer was the second wettest in the UK since records began, Met Office figures indicated. The only summer - defined as June, July and August - which was wetter since national records began was in 1912.
"Whilst retailers are certainly doing all they can to protect customers from the full impact of that, of course some of that inevitably will impact on shop prices," Richard Dodd, of the British Retail Consortium, said.
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