ECONOMY

Price hikes are everywhere

Cost of bread has risen 15% and consumers now have to pay an extra 11% for souvlaki

price-hikes-are-everywhere

Consumers are about to face considerable price hikes in most commodities in the market, as the margins that manufacturers and retailers have for absorbing the increase in production and operation costs are shrinking.

The power bills of enterprises that have considerable output but are not major industrial clients are currently twice as high as they used to be, while the recent changes to medium-voltage electricity rates are set to have a significant impact on major retailers too.

For example, a well-known poultry company that used to pay 180,000 euros for its electricity in a given period, has now received a bill for €340,000.

A senior official at a supermarket chain told Kathimerini that the additional burden from the hikes in energy and transport costs is estimated to exceed €3 million on an annual basis.

A recent survey by the Athens Chamber of Small and Medium-Sized Industries (BEA) showed that nearly 50% of enterprises expect their final prices to increase by around 10% due to the energy rate hikes, while one in seven (15%) is anticipating an increase that may even top 30%.

A typical example of manufacturers who have seen their power bills swell is traditional bakeries, whose electricity costs have risen 50%, which drives bread prices higher by some 15%.

Since the start of the year, mainly due to increases in the prices of raw materials, suppliers have informed supermarkets of price rises in a series of products, many of which concern basic food commodities: Sunflower oil has seen increases of 30%, chicken has gone up 20%, pasta has endured two waves of hikes totaling 13%, just like coffee, with a total rise of 9%, while the increases in cheese have come to 15%, in dairy products to 5%, in soft drinks 10%, while sugar has gone up 5%.

Even the companies that have not yet resorted to price increases now say this appears inevitable, while food service enterprises have also had to change their price lists, as even the ever popular souvlaki has become 11% more expensive.