March in Estonian supermarkets: Food price surges slowing decisively

Discount meat products at a grocery store. Photo is illustrative.
Discount meat products at a grocery store. Photo is illustrative. Source: Aili Vahtla/ERR

This March, prices in supermarkets had risen sharply on year, however, comparing them with February prices, the increases have been modest, and some product prices have even slowly but steadily begun to come down.

While electricity and natural gas prices have fallen back to lower levels again following a turbulent year, food prices aren't decreasing at a comparable rate, according to price info released by the Estonian Institute of Economic Research (EKI).

The prices of only a handful of products have fallen on year, and the fall has been minimal. At the same time, however, the comparison between February and March prices reveals that some prices have slowly started to come down in the last month.

The biggest rise on year in March was seen in the price of sugar, which for some time already has been one of the chief food items to see its price go up. Compared with February, however, the price per kilogram of sugar was nonetheless two cents cheaper last month.

White bread has also seen a remarkable price increase, jumping from €1.92 per kilogram last March to €3.05 on year, i.e. increasing by 59 percent. The price of rye bread, meanwhile, has gone up 37 percent. Both types of bread had also gotten more expensive since this February, with prices increasing by 18 cents and 10 cents on month, respectively.

The price of wheat flour increased by more than 60 percent on year as well as by another two cents on month, reaching a price per kilogram of €1.38. Meanwhile, the price of oatmeal, which had gone up by more than 37 percent on year, actually fell by one cent per kilogram compared with February.

Prices increased on year for all meat products. Domestic ground meat remained the primary driver of the price increase, going up 46 percent on year, however its actual price had decreased by one cent per kilogram compared with February. Boneless beef prices, meanwhile, similarly increased by 45 percent, with the actual price per kilo likewise going up by 11 cents on month as well.

The exception among meat products was cooked sausage, the price of which, while still up 16 percent on year, had actually gone down by 41 cents per kilogram.

Both pork chops and boneless pork had gone up in price by more than a quarter on year, with prices per kilo going up since February as well. Pork ribs and imported chicken both saw prices increase by more than 30 percent on year, with the price of pork ribs going up by 89 cents on month in just March alone. The price of domestic chicken rose even more — climbing by nearly 42 percent on year.

The price of franks went up 26 percent on year, increasing by 14 cents per kilo on month as well.

Fish products likewise have not been immune to price increases, although their prices fluctuate significantly from month to month. Chilled perch stood out with its 104-percent price increase on year, soaring from €6.08 to €12.39 per kilo. The price of perch went up 48 percent on month alone.

Chilled trout has gotten nearly a quarter more expensive on year, and went up 13 percent on month as well.

The price per kilo of salmon, meanwhile, which went up 11 percent on year, saw its price per kilo go down by 14 cents on month. Salmon fillet, however, went up by 19 percent compared with February.

Not a single dairy product has gotten cheaper on year. The most modest price increase was seen in bagged kefir, which rose 19 percent on year, however milk and coffee cream price went up more than 40 percent and sour cream by 50 percent on year, while cottage cheese and butter prices increased by 26 percent on year.

Some dairy products nonetheless saw minute price decreases compared with February, with bagged kefir falling from 90 to 89 cents per kilogram and the price of sour cream dropping by 3 cents per kilo as well. The price of coffee cream (10 percent milkfat) remained steady on month.

Other dairy products, however, saw their prices increase on month, although these increases were for the most part within the range of a couple of percent.

The surge in egg prices has subsided as well. On year, eggs have seen prices go up significantly, including by 53 percent for import eggs and 36 percent for domestic eggs.

Compared with February, however, egg prices have gone down, albeit nearly imperceptibly, with a carton of ten domestic eggs costing one cent less than in February. The price of import eggs, however, continued to rise, costing 2 cents more per carton than the previous month.

Of vegetables, onions have seen the biggest price increase, jumping 75 percent on year from 89 cents to €1.03 per kilogram. The price of onions went up 16 percent on month as well.

The price of carrots, meanwhile, went up 22 percent and the price of import tomatoes 27 percent on year. While the actual price of carrots declined by 4 cents per kilo on month, the price of tomatoes went up by 80 cents per kilo, or more than a quarter.

Potato prices haven't changed significantly on year, averaging 90 cents per kilogram in March 2022 and 92 cents this March. Compared with February, however, the price has actually gone down by four cents per kilo.

Head cabbage, meanwhile, has seen the most wallet-friendly change in price, costing 56 cents per kilogram last March, 62 cents per kilo this February and back down to 51 cents per kilo this March, thus falling 9 percent on year and 18 percent on month.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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