‘Tsunami in the kitchen,’ annual food price increase hits 35.7 percent

In July, basic food prices increased by 4.2 percent on a monthly basis and by 35.7 percent on an annual basis according to a study released by the United Public-Business Confederation Research and Development Center.

K. Murat Yıldız / Duvar English 

The results of the ‘people's inflation’ research, which the United Public-Business Confederation Research and Development Center (KAMUAR) collects from Ankara's supermarkets and farmers markets every month and is based on a basket of 76 foodstuffs consumed by the general public, have been released for July 2021.

According to KAMUAR’s research, the 8.45 percent increase in public employee salaries and pensions for the second half of the year was wiped out by the increase in food prices in July. Despite that it was summer and fruit and vegetable prices were lower this year, the upward trend in food prices that started in the last few months of last year continued in July.

'Tsunami in the kitchen'

The confederation described the effect of the price hikes on food prices as a “Tsunami in the kitchen,” noting that, compared to the previous month in July, basic food prices have increased by 4.2 percent, while during the first 7 months of the year the total price increase has hit 19.8 percent and 35.7 percent annually.

Basic food prices rose 3.6 percent in January, 2.8 percent in February, 2.5 percent in March, 2.3 percent in April, 1.8 percent in May, and 1.1 percent in June of this year. This rising trend in food prices, which increased by 4.2 percent in July, raises the risk of hunger and poverty in Turkey, where a large portion of the population is unprotected against inflation and nearly 9.7 million citizens, or nearly 30 percent of the workforce, are unemployed. Due to continuous price increases, the purchasing power against food decreases month by month the report noted.

The increase in basic food prices in July was fueled by price increases across the board, including fruits, vegetables, legumes, and oil according to the report.

Price hikes on steroids

Bread, flour, and bulgur prices increased by 0.5 percent in July compared to the previous month. The meat and fish group saw a 2.6 percent increase in July due to higher chicken meat prices, while the milk and dairy products and egg group saw a 3.4 percent increase. While the upward trend in oil prices that began in the final months of last year continued in July, with a 5.5 percent increase.

Moreover, vegetable prices increased by 11.7 percent in July, compared to the previous month, when fruit prices saw a price hike of 8.8 percent as other processed foods such as tomato paste, olives, honey, tea, salt, and similar foodstuffs increased by 0.2 percent in July, when legume prices increased by 11.5 percent due to increases in chickpea and lentil prices.

Thus, in July, 4.2 percent more money was paid than in June of this year to purchase the food basket, which consisted of 76 food items chosen by KAMUAR based on current food consumption habits.

Food prices increased by 19.8 percent from January to July. Bread, bulgur, flour, and pasta prices increased by 8.8 percent, meat and fish prices increased by 26.1 percent, and milk, dairy products, and egg prices increased by 20.4 percent in the first seven months of the year.

On the other hand, oil prices increased by 23.3 percent. Fruit prices increased by 70 percent during this period, while vegetable prices decreased by 0.5 percent. Prices for legumes increased by 9 percent, while prices for other processed foods increased by 8.3 percent.

Food prices increased by 35.7 percent on an annual basis compared to July 2020. While, prices for bread, flour, bulgur, and pasta increased by 24.8 percent in July of this year, 17.8 percent for meat and fish, and 35.1 percent for milk, dairy products, and eggs, compared to July last year.

Oil prices have risen by 53.9 percent year over year. Prices of fruits and vegetables increased by 69.1 percent and 67.2 percent, respectively. In the previous year, the price of legumes increased by 29.2 percent, while the price of other foods increased by 15.4 percent.

There was a 30.7 percent increase in food prices, according to the 12-month averages calculated by comparing the last 12-month average prices of the products included in KAMUAR's food basket with the average prices of the previous 12-month period.

Bread, flour, bulgur, and pasta prices are up 18.4 percent on an annual basis, meat and fish prices are up 17.7 percent, milk, dairy products, and eggs are up 28.5 percent, oil prices are up 39.7 percent, and fruit prices are up 43.6 percent. Vegetable prices increased by 67.1 percent, legume prices by 25.2 percent, and other foodstuffs prices increased by 9.9 percent according to KAMUAR’s study.