Food Prices Rise Up to 50% According to Albanian National Statistics Agency

by Cristian Florescu

The price of some 30 essential food items have increased by at least 20% since January of this year, with some increasing as far 50%, according to INSTAT, the Albanian statistics agency, writes

Based on an analysis conducted by the body, on 15 March the items we’re selling at a price 20% more than just two months prior. The largest increases were found in oils, flour, and hydrocarbons.

In particular, cooking oil and butter saw the most significant increases. Butter is selling at 1000 lek (EUR 8.12) up from 682 lek (EUR 5.54) in January. One litre of cooking oil increased by 40% from 228 lek (EUR 1.85) to 330 lek (EUR 2.68).

The increased cost of oils is because Russia and Ukraine are big producers and exporters. Sanctions and the ongoing war have halted production as well as export and other options are yet to be found at a comparable price.

Additionally, the cost of animal feed has soared as the warring countries both exported significant amounts of the product before Russia’s invasion.

As for butter, this increase has been attributed to increased energy prices in dairy processing plants. One kilowatt of energy is currently purchased at around five times the price it was last year.

Other products that have seen significant price increases include flour (36%), pasta (20%), milk (20%), eggs (16%), and yoghurt (16%).

Out of the 30 items analysed, only onions and cucumber were cheaper than before.

While the increases are bad news for citizens in one of Europe’s poorest countries, they are good news from the government.

Analysis shows that the state will be EUR 147 million better off due to the price rises from just the last two months alone.
During this time, customs revenues increased by 24.2% and tax by 19.4%. The biggest increase was seen in VAT revenue, with a 56% increase while VAT on imports was 30% more.

Meanwhile, citizens across the country are protesting against increases and calling for temporary suspensions of certain taxes to allow them to feed their families and keep their businesses afloat. The government has so far refused and has accused them of “serving Russia” by protesting.

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