Dairy, meat and vegetable prices are expected to increase by “at least 5%” over the next few months. Research indicates that the reason behind these rising food costs are the U.K.’s extreme 2018 weather.
Cost to Consumers
Consumers will, on average, be paying approximately £7 more per month for their grocery bills. This, according to a new report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) consultancy firm. The recent CEBR report explained that the big freeze at the start of this year and the heat wave from this summer in the United Kingdom is sending the cost of food skyward.
The report aligns with recent price warnings issued by farmers’ representatives. They have already cautioned that potatoes, peas and lettuce would soon come with a higher price tag. Wholesale prices for many other types of vegetable have already rise by as much as 80 percent since 2018 began.
Some Increases Now Some Later
The CEBR report warned that while some of the price increases have already happened and some will occur in coming months, others may take as long as 18 months to take full effect.
“So, while the worst of the recent heat may have passed, the cost to consumers looks set to climb,” cautioned the report.
June, July and August brought the U.K. record-breaking temperatures. These lead to droughts that resulted in crop failures. This extreme summer weather followed a “wet, cold and challenging” winter. This was particularly strong as a result of the Beast from the East cold stretch that harmed both yields and the costs to farmers, said CEBR.
Among the key points in the report were the following:
- A livestock feed shortage will considerably increase meat prices.
- Grazing grass growth delays due to a cold spring followed by summer droughts has increased the price of butter production by 24 percent.
- The wholesale price of vegetables rose considerably from March through July. The price of bread wheat rose by 20 percent, carrots were 80 percent more expensive, and onions cost 41 percent more.
The report indicated that these ongoing “wholesale price shocks” would probably send the cost up for consumers by about £7.15 per month, per household, which translates to a total of about £45 million per week across the country.