February food prices: Groceries far more expensive than a year ago
Grocery prices in Estonian stores were much higher this February than a year earlier. Sugar prices rose the most, with a 109 percent, increase on year. The prices of sour cream, imported eggs and onions all increased by more than 50 percent on year. However, the cost of some products did fall when compared to this January.
According to the latest data from the Estonian Institute of Economic Research, the trend of rapidly rising food prices in Estonia shows few signs of abating. Most of the food products on supermarket shelves in Estonia cost significantly more now, than they did in February last year.
Sugar saw the largest increase in cost on year. This February, a kilo of sugar cost an average of €1.38, compared to just 66 cents in February 2022. Sugar also cost five cents per kilo more this February than in January, when it was priced at €1.33.
The price of wheat flour has also risen sharply. In February 2023, it was 64 percent more expensive than a year ago, although a kilo of plain flour was one cent per kilo cheaper than in January.
The cost of oat flakes has risen by 39 percent on year, as has the cost of bread (33 percent) and white bread (51 percent).
Meat prices have been on the rise over the past year. The cost of both local and imported broiler chicken rose by around 40 percent, while refrigerated ground meat and boneless beef were up 42 percent and 36 percent on year respectively. Beef prices did fall slightly on month, from 16.92 cents in January to 16.76 cents in February.
Imported broiler meat also became cheaper between January and February, with a fall from €3.32 to €3.06 per kilogram.
Although pork prices rose significantly on year, the percentage increase was still below 20 percent, which was less than both broiler meat and beef. Cooked sausage prices were up by more than 20 percent.
Fish prices also rose sharply on year, though they have fluctuated widely over the last twelve months. Chilled trout increased the most, with a 46 percent rise, while chilled salmon prices were up 35 percent and refrigerated zander (pike perch) rose 36 percent.
Dairy products were also subject to major increases over the year. Sour cream saw the biggest jump, from €2.38 in February 2022 to €3.70 per kilo this year, an increase of 55 percent. Bagged milk was 45 percent more expensive this February than a year before. Meanwhile, coffee cream rose 43 percent, from €1.89 per liter last February to €2.71 during the same month in 2023.
Bagged kefir rose the least among dairy products, though was still up 18 percent on year. Cheese and cottage cheese prices rose by a fifth, while a kilo of butter increased by almost a quarter on year, from €10.49 to €13.01 this February. All of these products fell slightly in price between January and February.
Egg prices were also up on year. In February 2022, ten medium-sized imported eggs cost €1.36, while this February they were priced at €2.14, a 57 percent increase. The price of imported large-sized eggs was up 51 percent over the same period.
Eggs produced on Estonian farms also cost more this February than a year ago. Medium-sized locally produced eggs were up 47 percent on year, while large eggs cost 43 percent more.
Not all products have risen in price on year however. Loose potatoes have fallen from 66 cents to 64 cents per kilo, while the cost of a kilo of imported (long) cucumbers is down slightly from €3.06 to €2.99.
However, the price of pre-packaged potatoes was up 14 percent on year, and (short) imported cucumbers also rose in price from €2.49 to €4.10 per kilo.
Onion prices also rose significantly, from 56 cents per kilo to 89 cents per kilo, a 59 percent increase on year. Tomatoes and cabbages both cost 17 percent more than in February 2022, while carrot prices were nearly a fifth higher. However, a kilo of carrots was six percent cheaper in February than January.
Apples also cost more in Estonian stores this February. Locally produced varieties were up by 23 percent, while imported apples were priced 10 percent higher than a year earlier.
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Editor: Michael Cole