The surge in honey prices, that began in mid 2008, continues. Most prices that I track rose from lofty October levels. Dutch Gold wildflower fell, but only by 2.3% and that was after a 38.9% increase in October. I made a point of sampling prices in January, to compare them with the USDA’s “all honey” price – a year end price that they haven’t published yet. I’ve also started tracking the price of table sugar, maple syrup, and malt extract. If you make mead, you’ll be interested in the price of honey, of course, but this might be interesting to our homebrewing friends and should provide some context as 2009 unfolds. I’ve included honey prices from March 2008, when prices were stable, October 2008, and current prices in the table below.
|Source and Type||Price March 08 ($/lb)||Price October 08 ($/lb)||Recent Price||Change From October||Change From March|
|Sam’s Club Clover||1.53||1.86||2.05||+10.2%||+34.0%|
|Miller’s Honey Clover||1.551.65||1.73||+4.8%||+11.6%|
|Miller’s Honey Wildflower||1.15||1.35||1.43||+5.9%||+24.3%|
|Miller’s Honey Organic||n/a||n/a||1.83||n/a||n/a|
|Dutch Gold Clover||1.30||1.71||1.80||+5.3%||+38.5%|
|Dutch Gold Wildflower||1.26||1.75||1.71||-2.3%||+35.7%|
|Dutch Gold Organic||n/a||n/a||1.80||n/a||n/a|
Miller’s wildflower stands out
The packers offer slightly better prices on clover honey than Costco, but to get those prices you have to buy in 60 lb buckets and pay shipping. Costco and Sam’s Club let you buy in smaller 6 lb or 5 lb jugs and avoid shipping charges by visiting their retail locations. The standout bargain is still Miller’s wildflower – a high quality honey at a great price. Miller’s and Dutch Gold sell organic honey – a wildflower honey that meets USDA requirements for an organic label, and I’ve begun tracking those prices.
I started tracking the price of maple syrup at Costco ($16.99/quart) and Sam’s Club ($19.88/quart). It’s a sugar syrup, like honey, but is sold by volume rather than by weight. Typical conversions for maple syrup are: 1 Gallon (US) = 11.2 lb. 1 cup = 240 ml = 319 g of 67 Brix syrup with a density of 1.33 g/ml. That works out to $6.07/lb and $7.10/lb at Costco and Sam’s.
Malt extract and table sugar?
For our homebrewing friends, and to provide some context, I’ve started tracking the price of bulk malt extract at four suppliers that I’m familiar with. The Cellar, Mountain Homebrew, More Beer, and The Grape and Granary all offer malt extract in bulk. Prices range from $2.01/lb to $2.99/lb for liquid extract and $2.52/lb to $4.66/lb for dry extract.
Update 1/25/2010 – Honey prices level off
Honey prices were flat for the rest of 2009. There wasn’t much movement in malt extract either.
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