Prouza: The increase in sugar costs consumers an average of CZK 3.70 per month

Prouza: The increase in sugar costs consumers an average of CZK 3.70 per month

Prouza: Sugar price hike costs consumers an average of 3.70 CZK per month

Christmas candy. Illustrative photo.

Prague – The increase in sugar prices, which has been recently criticized by Minister of Agriculture Zdeněk Nekula (KDU-ČSL), costs the average consumer in the Czech Republic 3.70 CZK per month. Tomáš Prouza, president of the Trade and Tourism Association, told journalists today. According to him, the daily consumption of sugar in the Czech Republic is on average almost twice the amount recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). Due to high prices, Nekula called a meeting of representatives of farmers, food companies and retail chains.

Advertisement'; }

Prouza stated today that the average daily consumption of sugar in the Czech Republic is 91 grams, while the WHO recommends 50 grams. According to him, the annual net consumption of sugar excluding food intake is roughly 6.3 kilograms. Therefore, for consumers, the latest increase in the price of sugar means 3.70 CZK higher food costs per month, he said. Sugar accounts for 0.3 percent of food costs, according to the union.

According to the Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ), the price of one kilogram of granulated sugar rose by 77 percent from September to December last year. The consumer price was more than CZK 30 in December, which, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, is also a historical maximum. The average price of industrial producers for one kilogram of sugar was CZK 13.17 last September. In December, a kilogram cost CZK 19.90, which is an increase of 51 percent. It was criticized by the Agrarian Chamber of the Czech Republic, which pointed to a significant increase in prices in stores compared to producer prices.

In January, Nekula sent a letter to the chains demanding an explanation for the high prices of sugar and eggs. “I certainly don't want to interfere with the free market environment, but it seems to me at least immoral that, at a time when our residents are worried about rising food prices and households are tightening their belts, supermarkets increase their sales mark-ups in this way. No one should abuse the current situation to disproportionately increase profits.” stated.

Prouza said today that he does not expect any fundamental progress from the meeting, which is to be held next week, and that he will go to it with a clear legal position. “The law expressly prohibits competitors from sharing sensitive information with each other,” he said. He has previously stated that a similar meeting indicates an attempt to negotiate prices behind closed doors.

He also drew attention to Tuesday's statement by the Office for the Protection of Economic Competition (ÚOHS), which stated that the publication of information on future price steps may violate economic competition . According to Prouza, the lack of competition between suppliers is behind the increase in food prices, when in some segments there are companies controlling large market shares in the tens of percent. According to him, this is the case, for example, with soft drinks, margarines or detergents. The Ministry of Agriculture stated in January that there are seven sugar factories in the Czech Republic. Roughly 60 percent of the sugar beet grown by Czech farmers will be processed by Tereos TTD.

Prouza said today that retail chains slowed price growth last year by reducing their margins. Last year, according to the Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ), retail sales fell by 3.6 percent year-on-year. According to Prouza, the drop in chain margins will affect the economic results of companies.