Food prices will grow at least until mid-2023

Almost all agricultural products became more expensive last year compared to the previous year, while average prices in November last year compared to the same month in 2020 were 30.5% higher, announced the State Statistical Office.

Economic experts do not believe that the prices of basic groceries will subside any time soon.

Vegetables have become more expensive, up to 55.4%, cereal prices have increased by almost 40% in the same period and industrial plants by 37.5%. In terms of produce, the price of potatoes has risen the most in a year, up 83%, wheat 42.7% and corn 39.4%.

Last November, beef and poultry were 20% more expensive than in 2020, eggs 21.6% and milk prices went up by 5.1%. In the same period, only fruit recorded a drop in price of 17%.

Looking at the first 11 months of last year in relation to the same period in 2020, the price of fruit increased by 52.8%. Potatoes, which price “exploded” in November 2021, fell by 10% year-on-year, while beef and poultry also recorded slightly lower year-on-year prices.

However, overall, everything else became more expensive, on average in the first 11 months of 2021 – up to 20%.

Agricultural analyst, Zarko Galetin, says that the prices of cereals and oilseeds reached an all-time high in 2021, but that the upward trend in prices was not then followed by the prices of retail products, especially meat and processed products, milk and sugar.

“It was clear that over time processed product prices would start to rise, and this happened at the end of the year, which is not a surprise. We had a lot of factors encouraging this growth, from global inflation to rising energy prices, but also problems in logistics and transport. When such tectonic shifts occur in the food market, you cannot expect those prices to fall overnight. What we can generally expect in the first half of 2022 is that these prices will remain high, and I think the wave of price increases will last at least until the middle of next year,” Galetin says, adding that some FAO and UN forecasts do not rule out further price hikes.

What happens next, Galetin underlines, will depend very much on the global situation, primarily the pandemic and adds: “Last year, we had a world record in total yields of maize, soya and sunflowers. It is not logical when three crops have record yields, and when there are record stocks for five years globally, to have such a price increase. According to the logic of things, when you have such yields, the price should be lower, but that has not been the case.”

(Danas, 13.01.2022)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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