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Counting the rising cost of breakfast? Blame the weather and Ukraine crisis

HEALTH experts have long warned that it could add inches to waistlines, but the full fried Scottish breakfast remains a firm favourite on the nation's menus.

TASTY: Student Max Kinder enjoys a Scottish breakfast at SNAX Cafe in Edinburgh. Pork and coffee are just some of the food items that will be rising in price.
TASTY: Student Max Kinder enjoys a Scottish breakfast at SNAX Cafe in Edinburgh. Pork and coffee are just some of the food items that will be rising in price.

But now it has emerged that those with a taste for bacon and eggs in the morning will also find their wallets hit hard after a global rise in food prices including coffee, pork and orange juice.

This year's extreme weather and unrest in the Ukraine have helped fuel a run on commodity prices which have also been affected by growing demand from new markets in Asia.

And there appears to be no sign of the price rises coming to an end any time soon even if this year's harvests prove to be bumper crops.

Abdolreza Abbassian, senior grains economist at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, said: "These days, unless you have a rise in production, you will have a problem," while commodities researcher Lorraine Hudson warned "some of the prices could be passed on to the consumer in future".

Among the popular breakfast ingredients currently hit by price rises are bacon. Traded as lean Hog on the international markets, bacon prices have risen by 40% so far this year with demand particularly high in Europe, while analysts in the US have predicted "uncertainty" over prices in the coming months.

While it is regarded a staple on many breakfast tables, orange juice is set to rise in price with production hit by a virus known as "greening disease". According to the latest commodity prices, the cost of orange juice has risen by 12% this year.

A drought in Brazil has also affected coffee production, leading to fears that this year's harvest will not be as plentiful or as high in quality as recent years, pushing up the costs by as much as 70%.

But even as the price of a cup of coffee rises, those who like to sweeten their morning drink will also be counting the costs.

Analysts predict that the price of sugar will continue on an upwards trajectory, having already increased by 6% following weather problems in South America, India and Thailand.

Dairy prices had also risen due to global demand for milk powders, spurred on by concerns over domestic products in China and Russia. Milk prices in America have gone up by 20%, while butter has risen by 17% since the start of the year.

Most likely to hit Scots consumers is a rise in the cost of wheat worldwide, pushing up the cost of a loaf of bread. Strong demand and fears that the ongoing situation in the Crimea could disrupt trade from the Black Sea region have all combined to drive up prices.

And just as the cost of breakfast is set to go up, analysts have also predicted that night-time cocoa will be more expensive in future.

Fears of dry weather in Africa, where the majority of cocoa beans are produced, has led to prices rising by 8% in recent months.

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