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Competition watchdog: Greed not behind food price hikes in Estonia

A supermarket in Estonia.
A supermarket in Estonia. Source: Aili Vahtla/ERR

A recent food market survey by the Estonian Competition Authority found that the profit margins of producers and retailers have shrunk, suggesting that consumers have not been saddled with all recent price hikes.

Enn Robert Kinnas, analyst for the Competition Authority, said that food price hikes in Estonia have been similar to those elsewhere in the region, and the agency did not see evidence of greedflation or excessive profiting in the conditions of high inflation.

The results suggest that food prices have been affected by international policies and market failures, such as soaring world market fuel and energy prices, the Ukraine war and armed conflict in Africa, as well as climate change and extreme weather. Food prices have been growing rapidly all over the world. While prices in Estonia have grown faster than the European average, the trend has been similar to the situation in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

The Competition Authority concludes that Estonian agricultural producers, food industry and retailers have not hiked prices by too much or made excessive profits during the period of high food prices.

Kinnas said that the short survey constitutes a generalization and may not cover all sectors or data, adding that the watchdog will continue keeping an eye on the market.

The Competition Authority exercises supervision over competition, electricity, natural gas, district heating, postal services, water and sewage, railroad, aviation and ports.

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Editor: Mait Ots, Marcus Turovski

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