July grocery inflation: Price of carrots and onions rose the most

Vegetables on sale in Estonia.
Vegetables on sale in Estonia.

Grocery store prices in Estonia rose considerably on year to July 2023, with the greatest increases seen in the price of carrots, onions and imported tomatoes. Between June and July this year, the price of many products has in fact fallen slightly, though predominantly no more than 5 percent.

Data from the Economic Institute (Konjunktuuriinstituut) reveals that a kilo of sugar, which had become increasingly dear through the year, did not rise in price last month, compared with June, in comparison with July 2022, sugar cost 71 percent more per kilo in July 2023.

The price of wheat flour (Estonian: Nisujahu) increased by more than 13 percent over the year to July, but has been slightly cheaper in recent months; whereas in June, wheat flour cost €1.37 per kilo, last month the price was €1.30 per kilo.

Similar developments also characterize the price changes in wholemeal and black bread (Leib) and white bread (Sai); over the past year, both have become more expensive, wholemeal/black bread by 27 percent and white bread by 35 percent, though again, compared with June, both became cheaper – by around €0.10 per loaf in this case.

The price of oatmeal (Kaerahelbed), which was 15 percent more expensive in July 2023 than July 2022, also rose in price, by €0.03over the past month.

Among meat products, none of them have become more affordable over the past year. The price of smoked pork chops was the only category to see a fall, by only €0.05 at that.

The price of minced meat has increased the most, by almost a quarter, while a kilo of sausage has also increased in price, by around one-fifth. On month, whereas between June and July, sausage rose €0.16 in price, minced meat fell in price, by €0.20.

Over the year, pork ribs rose in price by 15 percent, as did locally-produced chicken broiler, a kilo of processed sausage rose 16 percent on year. The latter also rose in price, by a few cents, between June and July.

Pork chops (Seakarbonaad) and boneless pork saw the smallest rates of inflation, at less than 5 percent on year, while their prices have fallen between June and July this year.

Larger price fluctuations were posted in relation to the price of fish, which tends to be more volatile then other food products' prices, while there were drastic differences also in the prices of fish as sold in stores, compared with that sold in markets.

Specifically, in the supermarkets, herring fillets fell by 13 percent in price on year to July, chilled trout by 10 percent and trout fillets by 14 percent over the same time-frame. Salmon fillets also cost 4 percent less than they did a year ago. 

Over the same time-frame, the herring rose in price by 56 percent at the markets, while the price of trout at markets has also increased by 12 percent, between July 2022 and July 2023.

The price of chilled salmon fillets on the other hand is more even between store and market, and has fallen in both cases.

Between June and July this year, the price of fish in both stores and markets generally fell; for example, refrigerated trout fillet was 16 percent cheaper and trout 13 percent cheaper, while refrigerated perch was 12 percent cheaper, month-on-month and in the supermarkets and stores.

In the open markets, the price of perch fillets fell the most during the month of July, by 16 percent, when the price of salmon fillets also fell by 12 percent.

The prices of dairy products were higher this July than a year ago within every product group. 

The price of skimmed milk rose the most, by nearly 29 percent on year, and the price-per-kilo of sour cream (Hapukoor), which rose by 27 percent, was not far behind that. Coffee cream (Kohvikoor) also became more expensive by 23 percent.

Shoppers have to pay 17 percent more for cottage cheese now than a year ago, while a liter of kefir costs 16 percent more than it did a year ago. The price of a kilo of butter, which made significant price jumps during the year, also continued to rise, though at a lower pace (at 7 percent) than did prices of other dairy products. A kilo of cheese rose 8 percent in price, for instance, over the year.

However, when comparing the prices of dairy products in July 2023 with those in June of this year, a decline, albeit a small one, can be observed in most cases.

Between June and July this year, sour cream became cheaper by €0.16, kefir by €0.04, and a liter of milk by €0.02. The price of a pack of butter fell from €13.07, to €12.81, in the space of one month.

In the eggs category, the price of size-M imported eggs rose the most year-on-year, by almost a quarter.

A pack of ten M-sized eggs cost €1.75 in July 2022, and €2.17 in July this year. Between June and July, however, the price of size-M eggs fell by €0.04 for a box of 10.

Locally-produced eggs rose by 10 percent in price, year-on-year to July, while €0.12 was added to the price of an egg carton between June and July also.

In the case of vegetables, a 176-percent rise in the price of tuber onions stands out the most, while even in July, the price of this variety of onion increased by €0.15, compared with June this year. 

A year ago, shoppers could buy onions from the store for €0.66 per kilo, whereas now that will cost them €1.81 for the same kilo.

The price increase of loose carrots has also soared – by 160 percent in a year. While in July 2022 a kilo of carrots cost €0.53, the price now is €1.39.

The price of pre-packed carrots rose by 33 percent on year, and when combined this puts the price increase for loose and packaged carrots at 64 percent.

The price of carrots also rose by €0.06 in the past month.

Potatoes and cabbage also became costlier, the former by 13 percent on year and by 15 percent in the past month.

Cabbage rose in price by as much as 72 percent in a year, and by 15 percent in a month, to the end of July.

Those rises in the price of potatoes meanwhile strongly correlated with the packaging method used. Packaged potatoes increased by only one cent per kilo, while the price of bulk potatoes rose by 34 percent year-on-year and by as much as 43 percent month-on-month, i.e. it rose from €0.65 in June 2023, to €0.93 in July 2023.

Locally-sourced tomatoes have become a little cheaper; the price-per-kilo these stood at €5.40 last July and at €5.04 this year. However, the price of imported tomatoes has risen by 76 percent, i.e. whereas in July 2022 imported tomatoes cost €2.21 per kilo, this year they cost €3.89 per kilo. However, on the monthly comparison, the price of both domestic and foreign tomatoes fell by €0.75 and €0.10, respectively.

The fall in the price of cucumbers is more noteworthy: Imported "long" cucumbers cost 21 percent less in July 2023 than they had a year earlier, while their per-kilo price fell by a few cents in the past month as well.

Local cucumbers have fallen in price, however; by 24 percent month-on-month, and by 6 percent year-on-year.

The price of imported apples fell by 3 percent in the last month, though on year, the price has still risen, by 19 percent.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Marcus Turovski

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