2014: A tough year for commodity prices

In this weekly Commodities Watch column, John T. Barone, president and commodities analyst for Market Vision Inc., offers a snapshot of the state of commodities for restaurants.

Going into 2014, it looked like it would be a relatively benign year for commodity prices, aside from beef. However, prolonged droughts in California and Brazil, porcine epidemic diarrhea virus outbreaks, and instability in Ukraine have all conspired to make 2014 a food buyer’s nightmare.

California’s drought is driving up cattle, dairy and produce prices. Brazil’s drought has lit a fire under coffee, sugar and soybeans. Both corn and wheat have been affected by Russ

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