Average price of basic foodstuffs falls in seven out of eight surveyed cities in 2023

Only Rio de Janeiro saw higher prices over the course of the year. In December, prices rose in seven out of eight surveyed cities. The price of rice increased for the fourth month in a row.
15 Janeiro 2024
Average price of basic foodstuffs falls in seven out of eight surveyed cities in 2023

The average price of basic foodstuffs rose between November and December 2023 in seven of the eight large Brazilian cities analyzed monthly by the HORUS & FGV IBRE Basic Consumption Platform. The increases varied from 0.1% and 6.4%. In the only city where prices fell, the decline was 2.0%. The results continue to show an upward trend, which may be related to price hikes by producers and the spike in prices typical of the festive season.

The cities with the sharpest price rises were Curitiba and Fortaleza (6.4% and 4.8%, respectively). Sao Paulo was the only city that experienced a decline in average prices (2.0%).

Average prices continue to be the highest in Rio de Janeiro (R$946.00), followed by Sao Paulo (R$797.66) and Fortaleza (R$729.01). On the other hand, Belo Horizonte (R$626.29), Manaus (R$669.79) and Salvador (R$692.99) recorded the lowest prices.

Of the 18 items in the set of basic foodstuffs, only rice went up in price in all cities, for the fourth consecutive month, while several other products became more expensive in almost all the cities.

Rice has been on an upward trend for more than four consecutive months, due to limited supply in the world and weather factors in Brazil, such as heat waves and intense unseasonal rains caused by El Niño, which have affected crop yields. Erratic weather has also damaged the production of animal fodder, affecting the quality of life of cattle and reducing the supply of protein at retail level, resulting in higher prices for consumers.

Despite the general trend of rising prices, the price of butter fell in all the cities and other products, such as those listed below, became cheaper in almost all of them.

In December, the accumulated variation in the price of basic foodstuffs in 2023 fell in seven of the eight cities. The declines ranged from 1.9% to 6.2%. In the only city that experienced an increase, Rio de Janeiro, the rise was 8.2%.

The food items that have risen the most in price over the last 12 months, in practically all the surveyed cities, are shown in the following tables. Rice and eggs, which are very important in the typical Brazilian diet, stand out.

On the other hand, there were significant falls in the prices of some basic foodstuffs in 2023, especially soybean oil.

Looking at the expanded set of basic items, which includes drinks, hygiene products and cleaning items, as well as food, average prices fell in five of the eight analyzed cities. The falls ranged from 1.1% to 4.1%. The cities with the highest prices continue to be Rio de Janeiro (R$2,104.62) and Sao Paulo (R$1,830.01).

Manaus and Belo Horizonte had the lowest prices for the expanded set of basic items (R$1,457.72 and R$1,626.66, respectively). Unlike basic foodstuffs, the expanded set of basic items showed a downward trend in average prices, suggesting that the movement of price increases more directly affected basic food items.

Of the 33 products in the expanded set of basic items, the prices of condensed milk, wine, shampoo and detergent fell in all the cities. Some other products also fell in price in almost all the cities.

The increase in basic food prices in most cities in December reflected the rising prices of key products widely consumed by Brazilians, such as rice, beans and vegetables, especially affecting lower-income consumers, who spend the bulk of their household budget on food.

Read the full press release here.

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