Crop failures push up German food prices
Food in Germany was more expensive this year, with some crops such as potatoes costing nearly half as much again as in 2012.
The cold winter, floods in June and a particularly hot summer are being blamed for crop failures leading to an above-inflation jump in German food prices over the past 12 months.
Bad weather in 2013 caused a four percent rise in the overall price of food, Bild newspaper reported on Tuesday, referring to statistics from the German Farmers’ Association. The agricultural group’s president Joachim Rukwied will present its annual report on Wednesday.
The report will show that the price of potatoes is up by 40 percent on last year, while cucumbers are now 27 percent more expensive. The price of butter has increased by a third.
Growing conditions were particularly bad this year. The winter was long and cold, with Berlin braving its coldest March since records began in 1883. Widespread floods in eastern Germany followed in June, costing billions of Euros. And the summer was particularly hot in July when temperatures exceeded 35 °C.
Relative to the price of food, inflation in Germany is low. This is due to further decreases in the price of oil, according to the Federal Statistical Office. Economic experts have calculated 2013’s average inflation rate at 1.5 percent, the Welt newspaper reported.
But at present, inflation is on the rise. In November 2013 goods and services were 1.3 percent more expensive than in November 2012, while in October prices were 1.2 percent higher than 12 months previously, Welt reported.
In 2014 it is expected that inflation will increase to 1.9 percent and the German Farmers’ Association expects food prices to increase at roughly the same rate, according to Bild.