ECONOMY

Complaints of profiteering

Gov’t to probe unjustified hikes in cost of cattle feed being reported by dairy industry

Complaints of profiteering

Farmers and dairy industry-related entities are complaining of profiteering practices in the market through the creation of artificial shortages in various products and especially in cattle feed.

The hikes recorded in the prices of corn and soya, reaching up to 100%, are not seen to be corresponding to the high cost of production as they concern animal food produced in 2021, before energy costs and raw material prices soared. Industry insiders also speak of shortages that are not genuine and are being created in order to drive prices even higher.

These complaints have reached the competent ministries of Development and Investment and of Rural Development, which say they will have a clearer picture on Wednesday of what is actually happening in the market, as enterprises will have declared their stocks in a series of commodities based on the recent regulation.

Of course the declarations of stocks will only be efficient if they come with the appropriate checks to establish the accuracy of the submitted data. On the other hand, some market professionals attribute those complaints to other motives, such as the justification of excessive price hikes at the next stage or citing excessive costs in order to avoid satisfying demands for higher prices by suppliers, such as milk producers.

According to a statement released on Monday by the Institute for Hellenic Milk, which is based in Serres, Central Macedonia, the prices of corn and soya have increased by 100% and 70% respectively compared to a year ago. “Such a price hike is not justified by the increases in the costs of energy or the fertilizers required for their cultivation,” noted the institute, citing two arguments for its analysis in Serres.

These arguments are that the corn and soya sold this year are from the 2021 harvest, bearing 2021 prices, and that the increase in the production costs of corn in 2022 amount to 34% compared to 2021, thereby not justifying the doubling of prices.