The increases in energy, logistics and material costs have led the Spanish economy into an inflationary spiral that peaked in December, with a year-on-year growth of the CPI of 6.5%, and that in January continued at a high level of 6%. This, how could it be otherwise, also moved to the food sector, although with lower increases than the general index. First it was the industry that began to raise prices and, lastly, distribution, which has already had to pass on these increases to the shelves to save their margins.
The basket, therefore, continues to become more expensive, as also shown by the data for January of the Price Index in Origin and Destination of food (IPOD), which is prepared by the agrarian organization COAG. This measures the evolution of more than thirty fresh foods in the shopping basket, both at origin, that is, what the farmer or rancher receives, and at destination, what the retail trade charges.
This index shows a 4% average growth in prices at destination between January of this year and the same month of 2021. Of the 33 categories, 23 have suffered increases, and up to eight have done so in double digits. The most, the artichoke and tangerine, both seasonal products. The first had a price of 3.92 euros per kilo in January, 22.5% more than a year before, while the second climbed 21.8% to 2.74 euros. Very close was the zucchiniwhich rose 21.7% to 3.03 euros, and cauliflower, with 21.6% to 1.97 euros.
In addition, another five categories have experienced increases above 10% in the last year: salad tomatoes (+10.1%); the apple (+11.2%), the banana (+15.3%) and the pear (+15.6%).
“Production costs are rising and this has repercussions throughout the chain”, analyzes Álvaro Areta, technical manager of the food chain at COAG. “What is produced in the greenhouse has stopped and there is less product. In central Europe, for example, production is very slow due to rising gas prices.”
Difference Between Origin and Destination
According to the COAG index, agricultural products multiplied their price in January in 4.95 times from what was paid at origin and what was paid at destination. In the same month of 2021, the multiple was 4.22. The greatest differences occurred in orange, with a difference of 1,021%: from 0.14 euros to 1.57; at the limit, with 96%, from 0.20 euros to 2.13; or in garlic, from 0.69 euros to 5.89, 754% more.
In livestock products price premium was 3.12 times, lower than the 3.41 of January of the previous year. In his case, the prices at origin rose proportionally above those at destination, which did so moderately. This made it possible to reduce the differences, although all the categories of meat products measured by the IPOD grew in their final price.
The one that did the most was chicken, 8.7% up to 2.99 euros per kilo. COAG itself has denounced the increases in production costs suffered by poultry farmers, of the order of 150% in energy, 100% in plastics, between 40% and 60% in diesel, or 25% in feed , which in the opinion of the organization have “squandered” the narrow margins of the sector. Between January 2022 and the same month of 2021, its price at origin has grown by 38%.
Lamb (+8.3%), veal (+5.5%), eggs (+6.7%), rabbit (+4%), pork (+1.7%) and cow’s milk (+1.3%) ), also showed increases in their destination prices in January.
But not all were uploads. Up to 10 products have reduced their price in the last year. The one with the most, cucumber, 18.8%, followed by lettuce (-15.2%), orange (-15.2%), green pepper (-13.1%), onion (-11.8 %) or strawberries (-6.6%). Others such as red pepper, garlic, carrots or broccoli have also fallen, although to a lesser extent.
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