Prices in America's supermarkets dipped slightly during the second quarter of 2000, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation's Marketbasket Survey. The latest informal national survey shows a 12-cent decrease in selected grocery items from this year's first quarter.

Americans paid $33.37 for 16 selected items during the second quarter of this year. The decrease marks the first drop in the average overall price since last year's second quarter, when prices dropped 82 cents. Historically, prices during the second quarter tend to increase. This quarter's drop is only the third second-quarter decrease since the survey's inception in 1989.

A 22-cent drop in the price of a dozen eggs, to 85 cents, was the biggest contributor to the 12-cent overall decline. The drop in prices is attributed to a large supply of eggs across the nation.

"There are a lot of eggs being produced," said Mark Jenner, an economist with AFBF. "Months ago, the egg industry was concerned about the number of eggs being processed, fearing a glut of eggs on the market."

Of the 16 items on the survey, 11 dropped in price. Other decreases included potatoes, $1.56 per 5-pound bag, down 13 cents; cereal, $2.91 per 10-ounce box, down 8 cents; milk, $2.72 per gallon, down 7 cents; vegetable oil, $2.15 per 32-ounce bottle, down 6 cents; corn oil, $2.41 per 32-ounce bottle, down 5 cents; whole fryers, 95 cents per pound, down 5 cents; sirloin roast, $2.55 per pound, down 4 cents; ground chuck, $1.81 per pound, down 2 cents; cheddar cheese, $3.15 per pound, down 2 cents; and mayonnaise, $2.83 per 32-ounce jar, down 2 cents.

Pork products had the largest increases in prices during the second quarter. A pound of pork chops jumped 32 cents to $3.15 and a pound of bacon increased 19 cents to $2.75. Other increases included white bread, $1.20 per 20-ounce loaf, up 7 cents; apples, 97 cents per pound, up 4 cents; and flour, $1.41 per 5-pound bag, up 2 cents.

Volunteer shoppers from 34 states participated in this latest survey, conducted in mid-May. The average price of this quarter is only $4.87 higher than the $28.50 average price of the inaugural survey in 1989.