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GROCERY PRICES INCH UP IN 3RD QUARTER

Consumers are paying slightly more for groceries in the third quarter of 1994 than they did in the previous quarter, the American Farm Bureau Federation reports.

The agricultural trade group's quarterly Market Basket Survey put the cost of 16 popular market basket items at $30.39. That is an increase of 18 cents from the previous quarter and is 64 cents higher than the total for the third quarter of 1993.The survey was conducted in late August.

Items that carried slightly higher prices during this quarter include whole fryers, eggs, milk, cheese, apples, potatoes, flour, cooking oil, shortening and mayonnaise. Those that went down in price include ground chuck, sirloin tip roast, pork chops, bacon, cereal and bread.

Since the Farm Bureau began tracking market basket prices five years ago, prices have moved in a narrow range from a low of $28.50 in the first quarter of 1989 to a high of $31.44 in the third quarter of 1990.

More than 90 shoppers in 34 states participated in the latest survey.