High prices continue to hit home budgets hard. Despite the peak season for some vegetables and fruits, this category of products still increases prices. The price of potatoes attracts attention.
In July, daily purchases in stores were 15.5 percent higher. more expensive than a year earlier. This is a smaller year-on-year increase than in June or May – over 18%. and nearly 20 percent Every year. So it is clearly visible that the dynamics of price growth is decreasing, but this does not mean that it is cheaper in stores – according to the study “Price index in retail stores” by UCE RESEARCH and WSB Merito University.
Core inflation is also high, still in double digits, i.e. the inflation that does not take into account the most seasonally variable categories – energy and food. The National Bank of Poland announced on August 16 that core inflation in July 2023 amounted to 10.6% on an annual basis, compared to 11.1%. in June 2023.
Food is still expensive. Vegetables are the leader
Although the prices of food products are increasing slowly, vegetables are still at the top. The prices of these products increased the most out of all the analyzed categories – by over 32%. compared to last year – This situation is created primarily by trade intermediaries who increase the current prices on store shelves. This year, wholesale agricultural products are slightly more expensive than last year, comments Dr. Hubert Gąsiński from the WSB Merito University in Warsaw.
Potatoes are a perfect example. Price increases of up to more than half in the case of some varieties can be seen even directly from farmers trading at the markets. This means that the increases do not result from the intermediaries’ desire to profit. There must be another reason.
Potatoes are even more expensive directly from the farmer
According to the information we received from one of the farmers who sells his crops at the market in Ciechanów, at the beginning of the season, i.e. at the turn of May and June, potatoes cost about PLN 6 per kilogram. Currently, prices have fallen to PLN 3-3.5 per kilogram, depending on the variety. White potatoes of Irga and Irys varieties are more expensive, and yellow potatoes, such as Lord, are cheaper.
However, prices after the decline are still much higher than in the same period last year. At that time, you had to pay 2 zlotys for Irga and Irys, which means an increase of over 57 percent.
The increase in prices can also be seen on more budgetary solutions, i.e. on the prices for a 15-kilogram bag of potatoes. Last year, you had to pay PLN 25 for a bag of white species from the aforementioned farmer, and PLN 20 for a bag of yellow species. This year, these prices are PLN 40 and PLN 35, respectively.
It is also more expensive in stores up to 300 square meters, mainly local and local stores. According to data collected by gazeta.pl, potato prices there increased by an average of 55.2% in July. compared to last year.
Why are potatoes so expensive?
Therefore, one should ask oneself the reasons for such large increases in potato prices. As is usually the case in such cases, there are several reasons. The first of them is the successively decreasing acreage of potato cultivation in Poland. Farmers plant less of them year after year, and thus there is less product on the market, which almost always results in higher prices.
The second reason is expensive energy and fertilizers. Rising production prices forced farmers to increase product prices. The third factor is the weather, to which agriculture is obviously heavily exposed. Experts point out that drought strongly affects the yield of potatoes, which as a root crop strongly reacts to soil moisture.