The Russian invasion of Ukraine further accelerated the rise in energy prices. Together with the high prices of raw materials and the drought, the price rises have been passed on to Portuguese families.
“A basket of essential food products cost 8.65 euros more on March 23 (+4.71%) than a month ago, on February 23, from 183.63 euros to 192.28 euros“, adds the statement. The amount is based on 63 essential food products, which include turkey, chicken, hake, horse mackerel, onion, potato, carrot, banana, apple, orange, rice, spaghetti, sugar, ham, milk, cheese and butter.
Among the products that suffered the biggest price change, between March 16 and 23, DECO highlights “oranges (+20%), hake (+15%), tomato pulp (+11%), tomato (+10%), whole-grain breakfast cereals (+10%) and tuna in vegetable oil (+9%)”.
Deco Proteste justifies the price increase with the fact that Portugal is “highly dependent on external markets to guarantee the supply of cereals necessary for internal consumption”, highlighting that cereals represent “only 3.5% of national agricultural production – mainly maize (56%), wheat (19%) and rice (16%)”. It is recalled that Russia and Ukraine are two of the world's largest suppliers of cereals. In addition, the association stresses that currently the self-sufficiency of cereals in Portugal “does not exceed 19.4%, one of the lowest percentages in the world”, which forces the country to “import about 80% of the cereals it consumes”.
The consequences of this price increase are already being felt in Portugal and have led the Government to put forward a set of new measures to mitigate the impact of the war. Among the measures announced is a support of 60 euros for needy families to help them to buy food. This measure comes into force in April and is expected to cost 45.73 million euros.