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Stackyard News Apr 08

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Meat Price Rises Lagging Behind

Prices for milk, cheese and eggs in Europe have shown a sharp increase over the last year while those for meat have gone up less than half as fast according to a report just published.

Egg prices rose by almost
seven per cent in 12 months


The report examines changes to the 12-month rolling average rate of inflation for selected food groups in the 27 EU member states, comparing the rate in February 2008 with the same month of 2007.

The results of the analysis, by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) Meat Services, showed prices of milk, cheese and eggs rose by almost seven per cent in the 12 months ending February 2008, compared with only one per cent during the 12-month period before that.

Prices of bread and cereal-based foods also recorded much larger price rises than a year earlier, influenced by tightening global supplies of grains. In contrast, meat and fish prices rose by only three per cent over the twelve months to February this year, up from two per cent in the previous twelve months.

Eastern European countries have suffered the most from food price rises over the last year, with Bulgaria and Latvia recording food inflation at around 16 per cent in February, compared with an EU-27 average of four per cent.

The edition also includes a review of changes in household expenditure over the last 50 years, to mark half a century of the Expenditure and Food Survey.

AHDB Market Analyst Tracey Richardson said, "Disposable incomes in some Eastern European countries rose during the year, giving consumers increased purchasing power and this has led to increased demand. But reduced grain yields can't be discounted as an influence."

The report on EU food inflation forms part of the March 2008 edition of Meat Demand Trends from the Economics team at AHDB Meat Services. It is available by contacting Jayne Dines on 01908 844396 or email

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