On February 23, 2022, the eve of the outbreak of war in Ukraine, a basket of essential food items cost 183.63 euros. Almost a year later, on January 25, 2023, buying exactly the same food means an expenditure of 218.91 euros, which is 35.28 euros more (19.21% more), according to an analysis by DECO.
All food categories contribute to this increase, but it is in meat, dairy products and fish that the increases are most felt.
“Meat is the food category whose percentage increase was the strongest (22.16% more) in the reporting period. Buying a kilo of pork loin, chicken, pork ribs, pork chops, turkey steaks, veal and turkey leg will cost an average of 39.39 euros this week. Before the outbreak of war, on February 23, 2022, the same amount of meat cost 32.24 euros, which is 7.15 euros less,” emphasizes DECO.
Fish prices have also risen. “In percentage terms, the increase was already 20 percent. Between salmon, hake, horse mackerel, black scabbard fish, sea bass, bream, perch and cod, consumers may now have to spend an average of 72.37 euros, 12.06 euros more than they would have spent on February 23, 2022,” the Consumers’ Association advances.
Dairy products are also getting more and more expensive, “up 26.68% since the start of the war. Milk, cheese, yoghurt and butter can now represent an average expenditure of €14.54, €3.06 more than a year ago,” he adds.
Inflation is still being felt in other food categories. Between February 23, 2022 and January 25, 2023, the price of groceries increased by 18.53%; that of fruit and vegetables increased by 17.66%; and frozen foods rose 7.50 percent.
What are the foods whose prices are rising the most?
Since January 5, 2022, DECO PROTESTE has been monitoring the prices of a basket of 63 essential food products every Wednesday, based on the prices collected the previous day.
This analysis has revealed increases almost every week, with some products recording double-digit price increases from week to week. In the past week, between January 18 and 25, 2023, the products with the highest increases were:
- tomato pulp (17% more, that’s 21 cents more);
- horse mackerel (8% more, which is 37 cents more per kilo);
- Gala apples (8% more, which is 16 cents more per kilo);
- cereal flakes (8% more, which is 16 cents more);
- liquid yogurt (plus 7%, or 17 cents);
- black scabbard fish (4% more, or 30 cents more per kilo);
- orange (4% more, so 5 cents more per kilo);
- curly lettuce (3% more, so 11 cents more per kilo);
- kale (3% more, which is 5 cents more per kilo);
- and the sliced turkey breast (3% more, that’s 7 cents more).
If we compare the price of products on February 23, 2022 with the values recorded on January 25, 2023, the largest increases were recorded:
- in carolino rice (94% more, that is 1.07 euros more);
- in curly lettuce (66% more, which is 1.36 euros more per kilo);
- in tomato pulp (another 65%, or 58 cents);
- in white sugar (48% more, that’s 54 cents more);
- in carrots (46% more, which is 36 cents more per kilo);
- in heart cabbage (45% more, which is 47 cents per kilo);
- horse mackerel (44% more, which is 1.48 euros more per kilo);
- in semi-skimmed UHT milk (43% more, which is 29 cents more per litre);
- Maria biscuits (39% more, so 80 cents more);
- and in red potatoes (37% more, which is 34 cents more per kilo).
The association explains that this increase is due to the fact that Portugal is “highly dependent on external markets to guarantee the supply of grains necessary for internal consumption”, which “currently represent only 3.5% of the national agricultural production : mainly maize (56%), wheat (19%) and rice (16%).
“And if in the early 1990s self-sufficiency in grains was around 50%, today that figure is no higher than 19.4%, one of the lowest percentages in the world and that obliges the country to produce about 80 % of grain to be imported. ”, underlines Deco.
The organization clarifies that “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, from which a large part of the grains consumed in the European Union and Portugal comes from, therefore puts even more pressure on a sector struggling with the consequences of a pandemic and a drought with a strong impact on production and stockpiling”.
“The reduction in the supply of raw materials and the increase in production costs, namely energy, necessary for agri-food production can therefore be reflected in an increase in prices on international markets and, consequently, in consumer prices,” concludes he.