Fruit and veg have increased on average by more than 35% over the past six years. | Archive

The most recent figures from the National Statistics Institute (INE) show that the average increase in the price of food items in the Balearics over the past year was 11.3%. This was the percentage for July, it having been 12.1% in July 2022. There have been six consecutive years of price rises, but the average was no more than 2.1% for the four other years and was as low as 0.4%. In July 2017, a decrease of two per cent was recorded for the previous twelve months.

The president of the distributors association, Bartolomé Servera, says that it is worrying that there is still a double-digit increase and predicts a continuing rise in products such as olive oil and rice. "So long as prices at source do not stabilise, we will have this problem." Drought on the mainland, he points out, is greatly influencing the rise in these items.

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Of products analysed by the INE, sugar has increased the most over the past six years - by 46.8%. Others that have risen by 30% and more are: lamb (43.8%), milk (40.6%), mineral water, soft drinks and juices (40.3%), oils and fats (37.1%), fresh fruit (36.9%), fresh legumes and vegetables (35.1%), eggs (35%), cereals and derivatives (33.1%) and other dairy products (30.9%).

Spain's inflation rate was 2.1% at the end of July, having risen from 1.6% in June, which was the lowest since March 2021. Even so, the price of many food items continues to shoot up.

Luis García Langa, director of markets at SDC Analysts, explains that the price of food is one of the most volatile and also one of the most difficult to predict. "Demand is very inelastic. Families have to eat. Therefore, even if the price rises, they will have to continue buying. It's a problem for the consumer, to which we must add that producers and distributors are exposed to climatic conditions (drought, flood, frost) and even war, which can reduce supply and cause prices to shoot up. Precisely because of the inelasticity of demand, it is difficult for the price to drop much."