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Food prices stable, but farm-gate prices under high pressure

17/08/2020

During the corona crisis, food prices for consumers entered calmer waters. In the April-May period, prices of bread, eggs, poultry meat and fresh fruit hardly changed. The prices of dairy and beef increased slightly (1%). The price of ware potatoes increased by 2% and the price of vegetables by 3%. Only the price of pork decreased by 2%, but remained high at 10% above last year’s price.

In contrast with the stable consumer prices, farm-gate prices showed substantial drops. The higher wheat price is an exception to this. Other farm-gate prices fell drastically due to the corona crisis. For instance, in April and May the free potato prices for the farmer dropped by 60%, under pressure from large stocks of potatoes for French fries production. Pig farmers saw pig prices drop by 24%, partly because temporarily pigs could not be delivered due to the closure of slaughterhouses. Egg prices in April and May decreased by 11%, despite the high market demand. The milk price in May was almost 10% lower than in March.

These results are shown in the bimonthly notes to the food price monitor of Wageningen Economic Research and CBS.

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