Yes, they have become expensive. In some cases: they cost twice as much. Here are the prices and explanation
Imagine going grocery shopping and this is your list: carolino rice, curly lettuce, tomato pulp, white sugar, carrots, heart cabbage, horse mackerel, semi-skimmed UHT milk, Maria biscuits and red potatoes. In the end, you pay an average of 21.27 euros for all this – 11 months ago you spent 14. Now imagine the impact if you buy these products – or some of them – several times a year. But what happened to these products then? They were the ones that rose in price the most since the start of the war in Ukraine.
According to data from Deco Proteste, which publishes the weekly cost of a basket of 63 essential food items based on 11 brands, these ten items are the biggest differences between February 23, 2022, the eve of the invasion, and January 23, 2023.
|Products with the largest price variation (Feb 23)|
|PRODUCT||23/Feb/22||25/jan||Difference||23/02/22 – 25/01/23|
|semi-skimmed UHT milk||€0.68||€0.96||€0.29||43%|
Since the beginning of the war, the essential food basket monitored by Deco has already increased by at least 35.28 euros (19.2%). Carolino rice, for example, contributed to this increase, the price of which reached a new high on January 25. This product now costs an average of more than two euros in supermarkets. Almost doubled. Fried lettuce, on the other hand, increased by more than € 1.30.
On an upward trend, tomato pulp is also notable, which has already increased by 20 cents (16%) between 4 and 25 January. It currently costs 1.47 euros. In fact, between February 23, 2022 and January 18, 2023, tomato pulp was one of the products whose price increased the most, with an increase of 65%, that is 0.58 euros.
But looking at the foods that have risen the most in the past week alone, the scenario is already a bit different and includes oranges, apples, liquid yogurt and breakfast cereals, among others.
|Products with the largest price variation (last week)|
|PRODUCT||18 Jan||25/jan||Difference||18/01 – 25/01|
|strawberry liquid yogurt||€2.39||€2.57||€0.17||7%|
|Sliced turkey fillet||€2.28||€2.36||€0.07||3%|
Still in a comparative analysis with the previous week, there is good news to highlight: the price of the same basket of 63 essential foods fell by 5.76 euros (-2.5%) to a total of 218.91 euros.
War does not explain everything
Deep down, the problem is historic, the consumer protection association points out: Portugal is heavily dependent on external markets to guarantee the supply of grains needed for internal consumption. And according to Deco, these represent only 3.5% of the national agricultural production. The war in Ukraine, where most of the grain consumed in the European Union and Portugal came from, therefore put further pressure on a sector that had been struggling for months with the effects of a pandemic and a severe drought. building.
The limited supply of raw materials and the increase in production costs, namely energy – necessary for agri-food production – have been reflected in an increase in prices in international markets and, consequently, in consumer prices for products such as meat, fruit and vegetables, breakfast cereals or vegetable oil. In fish, the price increase may in turn reflect the increase in fuel prices, which has major implications for the fishing industry. But not alone.
Suppliers also complain that they are selling their product at a price significantly lower than the price that hypermarket customers are asking. Inflation does not explain everything and ASAE itself has already admitted that concepts of illegitimate profits may have been incorporated into some of these products.
For CNN Portugal, João, a farmer from Benavente, used the sale of tomatoes, one of the agricultural products that increased most with inflation, as an example. “We sell at a price and then it reaches the consumer for a much higher amount,” he said, pointing out that, with inflation, “it has some use, we can’t hide it.”
“I sell a product for 0.30 cents and they sell it for 2.5 euros,” said the producer.