Prices of winter festivity food items rise 11.41% in last year
According to a study by Fundação Getulio Vargas’ Brazilian Institute of Economics (FGV IBRE), the average prices of ingredients used in Brazil’s traditional winter festivities increased 11.41% in the last 12 months, while consumer inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, slowed down considerably to 3.75%.
The study looked at 27 food items in the Consumer Price Index. In the last 12 months, cornmeal went up the most (42.48%), while eggs, wheat flour and milk also rose significantly (29.79%, 17.33% and 13.21%, respectively).
The only items that went down in price were potatoes (18.93%) and refined sugar (2.16%). The decline in the price of potatoes was not enough to offset the 71.35% increase in the preceding 12 months, but it helped reduce the pressure on family budgets.
“Inflation has been slowing down this year, mainly because of the food group, but this slowdown has been a little more timid than expected, including in the case of winter festivity food items. Going against the wider trend, 70% of these items have recently accelerated. Although the prices of agricultural commodities are falling, some seasonal problems experienced by specific crops are delaying this reduction in prices. That applies to corn and milk, which are currently in the low-output winter season. However, this effect is likely to be temporary and the prospects for 2023 are still good, as indicated by the latest corn price data, for example,” says Matheus Peçanha, an economist at FGV IBRE.
The following products also went up more than average inflation: cassava flour (38.75%), corn in brine (34.59%), popcorn (34.15%), sweet potatoes (32.11%), condensed milk (27.82%), Minas cheese (21.65%), coconut milk (15.80%), apples (14.61%), cassava (14.21%) and cakes (13.29%).
“Many of these products don’t have any substitutes for those who want to follow the traditional recipes, so my advice to reduce the financial impact is to research prices, look out for lesser-known brands of similar quality and get together with other people to buy wholesale in order to obtain discounts,” Peçanha advises.