Food in Estonian stores cost significantly more in December 2022 than during the same month a year earlier. Sugar now costs more than twice as much as twelve months ago, while beef, milk, eggs and flour have also increased in price over the last year. Some vegetables have seen slight price reductions on year.
The Estonian Institute of Economic Research (EKI) price survey, which is updated each month, shows that prices continued to rise rapidly in December.
Marje Josing, head of the EKI, told ERR, that the contents of an average monthly shopping basket cost around 30 percent more in December 2022 than a year earlier.
Rising most over the year was the price of sugar, from €0.64 per kilogram in December 2021, to €1.33 per kilogram in December 2022. The increase was gradual, with sugar costing €0.06 lower per kilo less in November than in December.
Wheat flour prices rose more than 64 percent on year, with bakery products also costing far more than in December 2021. One kilo of rye bread was 33 percent more expensive in December 2022 than a year before, while the price of a kilo of white bread rose by 42 percent on year.
Meat prices increase
Meat products play an important role in Estonians' Christmas celebrations. However, this year, they were more expensive to buy than during last year's festive season. The price of domestic broiler (chicken) rose by 43 percent, while imported broiler cost over 60 percent more than a year before. The price of pork chops also rose by 29 percent on year.
According to the survey, one kilogram of vodka cost 38 percent more than in December 2021 than during the same month last year, while pre-cooked sausage and ground meat prices also increased.
Among meat products, boneless beef continued to rise the most in price, with the cost per kilogram rising from €11.25 in December 2021 to €17.11 in December 2022.
Compared to the previous month however, there were some reductions in price. In December, pork, pork ribs, smoked meat and ground meat were all slightly cheaper than they had been in November.
The price increases also affected fish products. Both trout and salmon prices were almost 45 percent higher at the end of the year than they were twelve months previously. In December 2021, trout fillets were available in some stores for €7.91 per kilogram. However, this Christmas, they cost €11.46 per kilogram. The price of trout also jumped on month, from €8.75 per kilogram in November.
At the same time, fish prices fluctuated widely throughout the year, reaching as high as €15.46 per kilo at the height of last summer.
Dairy products also rise in price
The price of dairy products also increased significantly over the last year. Regular milk cost 56 percent more than at the end of 2021, while sour cream prices were also up by more than 50 percent.
A packet of butter, containing over 80 percent fat, cost 32 percent more than a year earlier while cheese prices rose by 36 percent per kilogram.
The only dairy product to see a price rise of less than 30 percent was cottage cheese, which cost "just" 29 percent more in December than a year earlier.
Some reductions in vegetable costs
Potato prices rose by nearly 12 percent on year, though were down two percent in December from November.
The price of cabbage rose 35 percent over the year, decreasing five percent in December 2022 compared to a month before.
The only significant price drop over the year was for cucumbers. One kilogram of domestic Estonian cucumbers cost €4.72 in December 2021, falling to €3.84 in December 2022. This was a reduction of almost 19 percent over the course of the year.
Domestically produced cucumbers also fell slightly in price between November and December, with the cost of imported cucumbers also down by six percent in the same period.
Tomato prices were also cheaper in December than November, falling from €3.04 to €2.40 per kilogram. On year, tomato prices stayed relatively stable, with just a 0.4-percent increase, according to the survey results.
Apples, on the other hand, were more expensive, with the price per kilogram of domestic Estonian apples rising by over 40 percent on year. Imported apple prices increased by 14 percent during the same period.
Editor: Michael Cole