EU food prices continue to soar – data
Food prices in France and Spain are continuing their relentless rise, as the worst cost-of-living crisis in a generation rages across the EU, according to data published by Bloomberg on Monday.
The cost of the main groceries needed to cook the French dish coq-au-vin soared 15.4% in March to more than €19 ($21) compared to the same period a year ago, according to data from the national statistics office and the Ministry of Agriculture and Nutrition.
France is the top consumer of poultry in the EU. The cost of chicken, the main ingredient in the traditional dish, surged by about 18%, carrots by 33.5%, butter gained 23.9% and even wine, which saw the slowest price increase, soared by 8.4% on an annual basis.
The cost-of-living crisis has deepened in France. According to a recent report by statistics agency INSEE, inflation in the Eurozone’s second-largest economy has continued at a record pace, and faster than expected in February, largely due to surging food prices. Food, services, and manufactured goods have been the main contributors to inflation.
French authorities previously introduced a so-called “anti-inflation food basket” comprising about 50 basic items, and have obliged large retailers not to hike prices on these essentials.
Meanwhile, the prices of the key ingredients used in the Spanish dish paella have also surged, Bloomberg’s monthly Paella Index, based on data provided by Spain’s National Statistics Institute showed. Cooking the Spanish signature dish is now 18.5% more expensive than a year ago. The price of olive oil has jumped 32.1%, while vegetables and legume prices are up 27.8% on the year, and 5.7% on a monthly basis. Rice prices have risen 22.1% from a year ago.
The Spanish Agrarian Association of Young Farmers is warning of further price hikes due to likely olive oil shortages following last year's drought, as yields are already significantly down in Spain, the world’s largest olive oil producer.
Rice prices may also increase due to a 40% year-on-year decline in production in 2022, the worst on record according to the Rice Federation of the Isla Mayor municipality, Spain’s leading producer of the crop.
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