Food remains at high levels and will remain for the next few years not only in Greece but also internationally. A high-ranking executive in a large food industry contacted by Capital.gr expresses the belief that food prices will remain at high levels for a long time and perhaps for several more years, since – as he says – energy competes with the primary sector and absorbs agricultural resources from animal husbandry to produce biogas or other alternative sources.
The same person points out that in this way the livestock industry loses available agricultural resources and the primary sector more broadly, with the result that the final products also become more expensive due to the shortage created in the market due to the exploitation of resources by the energy industry. “The need for energy and specifically for alternative energy leads to livestock farming losing resources. By losing resources, animal husbandry will increase the cost of operating the animal husbandry units and also the cost of agricultural products”, he points out in this regard.
A determining factor that also affects and maintains high food prices is climate change. A typical example is the recent events and the disasters left behind by the bad weather Daniel in Thessaly. And this is because, on the one hand, it sweeps an area in Karditsa or Trikala, removing resources, but in addition to the crops and livestock that were lost, the available agricultural lands are shrinking because the passage of bad weather disintegrated the lands and they have now become uncultivable.
“If climate change continues at the same intensity – which seems extremely likely to happen – food will become more and more expensive,” says the same source. So despite the fact that there will be food inflation, the price of products will depend to a large extent on other conditions and not just on the recent geopolitical events in both Ukraine and the Middle East. However, the reopening of ports in the region and the restoration of free movement conditions in the wider Black Sea region could lead to a rapid correction in grain prices. However, the Ukraine-Russia case has brought significant upheavals in the wider geopolitical and economic field, significantly affecting Europe and it is a treaty which seems to be lasting.
Strong food price hikes continue
We remind you that in September the general consumer price index based on ELSTAT data fell to 1.6% from 2.7% the previous month, with a continuation of the significant price increases in food. The rise in food prices is estimated at an annualized 9.4%, with certain categories seeing much higher increases. Indicatively, the increase in the prices of oils amounts to 16.1%, in fruits to 13.9%, in vegetables to 17.7% and in the water-soft drinks-juices category to 13.9%, while an increase of 11.8% is shown the prices of pharmaceutical products.
Dissatisfaction with constant price increases
At the same time, their dissatisfaction with the strong pressures that their income receives from the constant revaluations of basic consumer goods is recorded by a recent survey by the company Interview on behalf of Politic.
When asked about their consumption and mainly nutritional habits, the participants report that they have dramatically limited their purchases of caseri/gruyere (77% of the participants), beef (75%), feta cheese (73%), olive oil ( 69%) and fish by 67%. It is interesting to note that the consumption of products associated with entertainment, such as sweets (82%) and alcoholic beverages (76%), also decreased to a significant extent.
As far as milk is concerned, it is estimated by people in the market with knowledge of the matter that the statistics that ELGO Dimitra will present in the next few days will show a further increase in selling prices at producer level. The main reason for this fact is considered to be that during the second half of the year milk production decreases. In particular, goat’s milk is available in limited quantities, as is the case with sheep’s milk, while cow’s milk is significantly reduced. This practically can have two readings: that either some dairy companies choose to import milk to buy cheaper, or they will choose Greek milk by increasing the price, especially in our country where the production of cow’s milk is in short supply. Then, if there are no new unforeseen events, from February onwards the price of beef will decrease as production begins to increase, which will last until early June.
It should be noted, however, that in August the price of cow’s milk was between 0.50 and 0.55 euros per liter at the purchase price from the primary sector, a price that is formed according to its region of origin. The price for a liter of milk on the shelf is currently above 1.80 euros.