Food prices : Commodity prices are skyrocketing. It is easy to verify this by comparing store receipts of today and, say, last year’s prescription. One consolation – although a weak consolation – is one thing: everyday life is becoming more expensive all over the world. We decided to see what happens to prices in seemingly stable UK.
The choice between food and heating
One can argue about whether it is correct or not to compare the situation with rising prices in Russia and Britain – the standards of living are too different. But lately, prices in the United Kingdom have risen at the fastest pace in almost thirty years, says the BBC. However, experts grimly warn that it will only get worse.
The topic of a general rise in prices is actively discussed in the media – no less actively than lockdown parties with the participation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, scandals with Prince Harry or new COVID restrictions.
Food checks for UK shoppers are now increasing by £15 a month, analysts estimate. Soaring food prices and the energy bill crisis pushed inflation up to 5.4% in the 12 months to December from 5.1% a month earlier, another blow to families in need. The last time inflation in the UK was higher was only in March 1992, when it was 7.1%. But analysts predict that gas and electricity prices will rise again in the spring to levels that were 30 years ago.
For now, Britons’ electricity bills are controlled by the government’s price cap, which limits how much suppliers can charge, but this should be reviewed on April 1st. And as a result, according to the BBC, citing representatives of the energy industry, fuel bills could increase by another 50% in the next few months.
At the same time, there are signs that the high cost of food is simply too much for many Britons. And this despite the fact that the average salary in the United Kingdom in comparison with the Russian one looks very impressive: about 1950 pounds (more than 200 thousand rubles) per month.
The head of a popular UK supermarket chain, Richard Walker, says he sees “worrisome” trends: “Perhaps some people are faced with a choice between heating and food. We leave customers to starve.” More and more people are turning to the food bank, a charitable organization that collects food from producers and suppliers and distributes it to people in need, he said. Such a bank accepts food products free of charge, including those that are close to expiration date, the volunteers pack them and deliver them to the starving people. As of the end of March 2021, there were about 2,200 food banks in Britain.
Richard Walker added that his stores cater to some of the poorest segments of the population: “Some of our customers can spend as little as £25 a week on food, so they are already struggling to make ends meet.” .
The latest increase was announced by the Office for National Statistics, which said that rising prices for furniture, food and clothing also contributed to the increase in the cost of living in December.
Most of the lamentations on the occasion of a rise in price of life, perhaps, sounded in the British press in December, on the eve of the Christmas holidays. Which, however, is easily explained: at this time, people are actively buying both gifts and dishes for the festive table.
Official data acknowledged that Christmas dinners and holiday drinks will be more expensive for UK consumers in 2021 as prices for many food and drink items have risen significantly.
Statistics show that in Britain over the past year, not only food products have risen in price. The category with the largest jump in prices for the year – by 12.5% - was transport. This includes a huge increase in the cost of used cars (27.1%) and gasoline (29.5%).
Rising electricity bills also fuel inflation, with the cost of electricity, gas and other fuels rising by 23%.
Food in Britain rose in price by an average of 2.4%, soft drinks by 3.2%, alcoholic beverages by 2.7%. True, the National World news platform noted that there is good news – it lies in the fact that the cost of potatoes decreased by 0.4%.
HOW THE PRICE OF CHRISTMAS PRODUCTS UP IN THE UK IN THE YEAR
Margarine and other vegetable fats 14.5%.
Ice cream and edible ice (eg sorbets) 9.1%.
Fortified wines (sherry, port) 8.3%.
Mineral and drinking water 8.2%
Whole milk 5.7%,
Shortly after the New Year holidays, the Daily Mail wrote that a survey conducted by the newspaper showed a wave of rising prices for everything from beef and bread to milk, eggs and peas. Across all food retailers, almost 10,000 grocery items jumped in price in a year. For those who spend £430 (45,800 rubles) a month on groceries, about the UK average, that adds up to an additional £25 (2,600 rubles) a month.
After the New Year in British supermarkets, the cost of coffee skyrocketed. The price of 165-gram packages of instant coffee of various brands, which was 6 pounds (639 rubles) before mid-December, according to data as of January 22, rose to 6.50 pounds (692 rubles). Some varieties of coffee have risen in price by a third. Once again, inflation and “permanent” supply chain problems are blamed for the rising cost of the invigorating drink.
And for drinkers in the UK, too, there will be times when you have to fork out more. UK store prices for wine and champagne could rise by 20% this year, experts warn, not only because of the global supply chain crisis amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but also because of the impact of Brexit.
According to the Daily Mail, suppliers are forced to raise prices amid increased demand, reduced supply and problems with the supply chain. Severe weather hit vineyards in Spain, Italy and France hard last spring.
“Prices will rise sharply,” warned the chief executive of one of the wine distributors, Tom Ashworth. – In some cases, it can reach 20%. This is quite important, given that inflationary pressures are building up in everyday life.” His company now sells cases of Bordeaux for between £200 and £1,300, so a 20% increase could mean an increase of £40 to £260 per box, respectively.
“Less than illegal migrants”
“My minimum wage just went up £14.40 a month, if it wasn’t I could apply for help with rent, utilities, prescriptions, glasses, off-peak bus pass, food vouchers bank and help with my gas and electricity. This left me with £82 a month for food and travel to and from work. In fact, I have almost £40 a month less than illegal immigrants. Someone tell me why a person who works as a nurse for 40 hours a week has to live like this?
This cry from London was posted in the comments of a Daily Mail article about price increases.
“Every time I buy something in the supermarket, the price goes up,” says a reader from Scotland.
And here is what a commentator from Manchester, who seems to be no stranger to conspiracy theories, writes: “All bills have increased by as much as 50%. Some staples like pasta have grown by almost the same… I can’t help but wonder if this was intentional. This is the next stage of the plan… First they make it difficult to own things, then they make people completely dependent on government handouts… They want to make us all dependent on the state and have no freedoms.
Britons, puzzled by rising prices, are being told that the coronavirus pandemic has dealt a double blow to global supply chains with a combination of pent-up demand and delivery delays as factories around the world face lockdowns and shortages of workers. This led to higher prices, especially for raw materials. Food prices have also risen as wages have risen, including for drivers of heavy vehicles due to a recent shortage when thousands of chauffeurs were forced to leave the UK after Brexit to return to their remaining EU countries.
The scarcity of hands behind the wheels of delivery trucks is just one of the many reasons for the general rise in prices in Britain. There are a number of factors behind the rise in prices, but most of it is due to the increase in the cost of agricultural commodities, including the raw materials used to produce food, as well as the cost of processing, packaging and distribution.
Rising fuel costs have also affected the cost of producing various food and beverage products, and supply chain disruptions have created bottlenecks in some industries.
In an interview with BBC Today, Iceland’s managing director Richard Walker said supermarkets were left with no choice but to shift their skyrocketing costs onto shoppers, with disastrous consequences.
Walker explained that a mixture of rising commodity prices, labor shortages, distribution problems, rising energy prices, higher national minimum wages and the impact of new taxation are eating into his firm’s profits.
And the chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, in comments to the press, does not hide his pessimism and says that the outlook for shoppers in 2022 is “very clear” – prices “will continue to rise and rise at an even faster pace” because retailers can no longer cope with additional costs. .
HOW THE PRICES OF PRODUCTS IN THE UK CHANGED OVER THE YEAR
Product December 2020 December 2021
Beef (kg) £6.09 £6.39 (676 rubles)
Steak (kg) £14.46 £16.27
Lamb (kg) £13.48 £14.65
Pork (kg) £6.06 £6.51 (689 rubles)
Ham (100-125g) £1.98 £2.03 (215 rubles)
Sausage (kg) £4.89 £5.31
Chicken (kg) £2.52 £2.78
White fish fillet (kg) £15.54 £16.12 (1707 rubles)
Salmon fillet (kg) £13.94 £14.92 (1580 rubles)
Sliced white bread (800 gr) £1.04 £1.07 (113 rubles)
Cheese (kg) £6.65 £6.21 (657 rubles)
Tea (250 gr) £2.00 £2.05 (217 rubles)
Instant coffee (100 gr) £2.94 £3.02 (319 rubles)
Sugar (kg) £0.71 £0.72 (76 rubles)
New potatoes (kg) £1.30 £1.38 (146 rubles)
Tomatoes (kg) £2.23 £2.41 (255 rubles)
Cabbage (kg) £0.68 £0.72 (76 rubles)