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Trade War Helps Turkey Prices Remain Low For Second Year In A Row

Turkey sale at Meijers

Turkeys for sale at a Meijer in Lafayette, Indiana. (Samantha Horton/IPB News)

Turkey prices are down slightly from last year, leading to some of the lowest prices in the past decade. One reason could be related to the trade war.

Hoosiers flocking to local stores to pick up their Thanksgiving meals can expect to pay the same or less than last year for the annual holiday meal. The Indiana Farm Bureau’s annual Thanksgiving meal prices survey shows turkey costs were down about 25 percent from last year’s decade-low prices, averaging about a dollar per pound.

Department head of Purdue University’s Department of Agricultural Economics Jayson Lusk says corn and soybean prices have remained low the past year due to excess supply from a drop in exports. He says this has kept feed prices down.

“Had we not had these trade wars, been able to export soybeans and pork to China, prices would have probably been higher here at home,” says Lusk. “Not substantially so, but I think we would have seen some higher prices.”

That’s helped consumers save at the store.

“It’s really a fortunate thing on the retail consumer side, that retail food inflation has been fairly low and I think if you’re a consumer these days, that’s a positive story,” says Lusk.

The survey also shows cranberry prices are up this year about 33 percent after going below the $2 mark last year. Overall, it shows Indiana residents will save an average of about 10 percent on a meal for ten. In contrast, the national survey shows costs are up about one penny.

Indiana ranks fourth in the country for turkey production.

Contact Samantha at shorton@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @SamHorton5.

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