vAccording to experts, consumers must continue to prepare for high sugar prices. In October, sugar at the supermarket checkout cost 24.3 percent more than a year earlier, as the Federal Statistical Office recently reported. Since the beginning of 2010, the price has increased by 82 percent.
But while prices for other foods are already falling slightly, sugar is likely to remain expensive. “The situation on the world market remains tense,” says Günter Tissen, managing director of the Sugar Economic Association. “So there probably won’t be a big change in price.”
The sugar beet harvest, which has been running since September and is known in the industry as the campaign, is showing a slightly better result this year than last year. The European market leader Südzucker from Mannheim estimates that it will at least be at the average of the past five years.
Why even good harvests don’t help
But that doesn’t matter for the current prices, says Tissen, whose association includes beet growers’ associations alongside manufacturers and importers. Because the beets for the sugar that is now being sold came from the previous year. “And the last beet harvest was bad.” The long drought in the summer of 2022 put pressure on the harvest quantity.
In addition, manufacturers also have to pay farmers more for the beets. This is the only way to prevent farmers from switching to more profitable crops. “Grain prices have recently shot through the roof,” reports Tissen. “In this respect, the sugar factories have no choice but to pay more so that the beet remains competitive in the field.”
There can be no question of a sugar shortage in Germany. According to the association, around four million tons are produced each year in the country’s 18 sugar factories. This makes Germany the largest producer in the EU alongside France, says Tissen. “We actually produce more sugar than we need and export to other European countries.”
Many Christmas ingredients are more expensive
Across the EU, in-house production is only sufficient for 90 percent of requirements. Ten percent is imported, mainly from countries like Brazil. The South American country is the largest sugar producer in the world with a share of 40 percent. In this way, the recently sharply increased world market prices would reach Germany, says Tissen. “And we recently reached a 14-year high in terms of world market prices.” Sugar is in demand worldwide since consumption has also been increasing in emerging countries. “The demand is higher than the supply.”
Consumers can observe the result in the supermarket: According to the Federal Statistical Office, food was on average a good six percent more expensive in October than the year before. But only olive oil became more expensive than sugar, at 38 percent. Prices for some other foods fell. Butter, for example, was almost 28 percent cheaper than in October 2022.
Other ingredients for typical Christmas dishes have also risen sharply in price. According to a study by the North Rhine-Westphalia Consumer Center, the prices for numerous foods have risen significantly in the past two years. In October 2023, canned sausages were around 34.6 percent more expensive, and potatoes cost 33.8 percent more. There was also a significant increase in semi-hard cheese (38.9 percent), cabbage vegetables (29.5 percent), peppers (29.3 percent) and white bread (26.9 percent). The prices for wheat flour (69.6 percent), margarine (50.8 percent) and eggs (22 percent) are also significantly higher.
Tissen rejects the fact that the more expensive sugar is ultimately also responsible for the price increase for other products. He calculates that a scoop of ice cream contains just one cent of sugar. And for a 100 gram bar of chocolate, only eight cents were added to the sugar. Even doubling the price only amounts to a few cents: “The significant increase in the price of confectionery cannot really be attributed primarily to sugar.”
This news article has been translated from the original language to English by WorldsNewsNow.com.
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