The importance of economic predictions:

This year’s plummeting peanut production has caused several peanut butter makers to raises prices. Peter Pan and JIF raised their wholesale peanut butter prices 20 percent Monday, while Smuckers introduced 30 percent price hikes Tuesday.

. . .

“It’s a matter of supply and demand,” Sutter said. “Cotton prices were high this spring, and that prompted farmers to plant cotton instead of peanuts this year.” That, plus a bad drought in Texas, caused peanut supplies to be down 13 percent from last year.

Hopefully our government will let the price system work to equilibrate the problem. And, speaking of prices…

“Just because (consumers) are paying what they think is a high price for peanut butter, I promise you the farmer isn’t getting any of that increase,” [farmer Jerry] Hamill said.

So you have a scarce good but aren’t getting paid any more for it? Sure smells like price manipulation…

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