Soybean prices up and so are grocery bills

April 6, 2004, Soybean prices continue to rise, as a U.S. shortage has pushed prices up over $10 a bushel. The increased cost for soybeans, double what is was just seven months ago, is beginning to take effect on food bills.

A 32-once bottle of Crisco cooking oil is up 21% since November, as are the price tags on other soy-based products such as vegetarian burgers and soy milk. Food experts are predicting a 5-10% increase in soy-based foods this year, reported Dow Jones Business News.

The US domestic soybean shortage is a result of smaller soybean harvest in 2003 due to the effects of dry weather. The shortage was compounded by higher demand for US soybeans in China, which mainly uses the crop as livestock feed. China has acquired a record 300 million bushels of US soybeans since September, representing 13% of all soybeans produced in the US last year.

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