Pecan and sugar prices on the rise - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Pecan and sugar prices on the rise

November 18, 2005

Albany-- The lack of rain we've had lately force you to pay more for a holiday favorite. Pecan growers say this season's crop was hurt by late season dry weather and a pecan virus.

More than 50 percent of Georgia's pecan crop was affected. Pippin Snack Pecans owner Bubber Pippin says this year's damage is the worst he's seen.

"Your hurricane damage last year blew off a lot of nuts, a lot of damage from that. And then this year you'll pay what was paid then because you had a shortage of pecans last year," says Pippin. Pippin says farmers should still be able to meet the holiday demand but customers can expect to shell out between $1.60 and $2.00 a pound.

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita may be to blame for higher sugar prices. According to the US Department of Agriculture, since the end of August the price of sugar went from 28 cents to more than 40 cents a pound. That's impacting businesses like The Cakery.

The 50 pound bags they use went from $17 to $22. "You hope that they will right themselves, maybe level out and go back down. If that doesn't happen, you either have to bite the bullet and take a loss or go up on your prices," says The Cakery Owner Michelle Oaks.

Oaks says they work hard to hold the line and not pass that cost on to customers but they might have to if prices stay high. The Cakery usually sees increases in sugar, eggs and butter during the holiday season also.

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