Oklahoma experienced a slight increase in prices at the supermarket during the third quarter of 2000, according to the Oklahoma Farm Bureau Marketbasket Survey.

The total price of 16 selected grocery items averaged $30.72, 98 cents more than the identical items cost during the second quarter of the year, in Oklahoma supermarkets. The Oklahoma average still was substantially lower than the average price for the same 16 items in the nationwide survey conducted by Farm Bureau. Oklahomans paid $2.88 less for the same 16 items than the remainder of the country, which saw the price hit $33.60.

The Oklahoma survey saw 11 of the selected grocery items increase in price, with only ground chuck, apples, potatoes, white bread and corn oil lower than the second quarter average.

"The third quarter is typically the time of year when people use many of the products on the survey to cook outdoors," said Scott Bulling, OFB's commodity marketing director. "Demand for many of the items in the survey tends to increase, and supplies tend to be lower during the summer months, in part, because of cooking outdoors," he continued. "And we didn't have as much beef marketed this summer. We may see prices hold steady or possibly go lower this fall, because of an expected increase in supply."

A pound of sirloin increased 15 cents to $2.36, while a pound of ground chuck fell a penny to $1.67, in the Oklahoma survey. Center cut pork chops increased three cents to $2.69, while a pound of bacon jumped six cents to average $2.29. Whole fryers also increased in price, rising six cents to 78 cents a pound.

Other items in the Oklahoma survey that increased included eggs, which went up 19 cents a dozen to average 78 cents; a gallon of milk went up 11 cents to $2.64; cheddar cheese, $3.01 per pound, up 16 cents; cereal, $2.93, up 22 cents; vegetable oil, $2.01, up three cents per 32-ounce bottle; and mayonnaise, $3.22, up 35 cents for a 32-ounce jar.

In addition to ground chuck, other items decreasing in price were apples, 77 cents a pound, down three cents; potatoes, $1.19 for a five-pound bag, down four cents; bread, 95 cents, down 26 cents for a 20-ounce loaf; and corn oil, down a penny to $2.28 for a 32-ounce bottle.

Average prices in the survey varied depending upon the reporting county. The highest survey total was $35.29 from Laverne. The lowest total came from Midwest City, with the same 16 items totaling $25.52.

Oklahoma Farm Bureau conducts the informal quarterly marketbasket survey to help track retail food prices to ensure they are in line with prices received by farmers and ranchers. State Women's Committee members conducted the third quarter survey, in eight cities across the state.

While grocery prices have increased for the most part during this year, the farmers' and ranchers share has dropped, according to American Farm Bureau Federation. The farm value of each food dollar spent is approximately 21 cents. Labor, at 38.5 cents, is the largest component of the consumers' food dollar.

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