In a letter, Minister of Agriculture Zdeněk Nekula (KDU-ČSL) called on retail chains to explain the high prices of sugar. He drew attention to the fact that prices rose sharply last fall and, according to him, stores should not abuse the current economic situation to disproportionately increase profits. According to the Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ), the price of one kilogram of granulated sugar on store shelves rose by 77 percent from September to December. The ministry announced this in a press release on Wednesday.
In the letter, Nekula asks the retail chains to tell him when they will reduce the consumer price to an appropriate and reasonable amount. “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.” said the minister.
The Ministry drew attention to the different growth of producer prices and prices in stores. According to the CZSO, the average price of industrial producers for one kilogram of sugar last September was CZK 13.17. In December, a kilogram cost CZK 19.90, which is an increase of 51 percent.
In stores, the average price for a kilogram of granulated sugar in September of last year was CZK 18.21. In December, it was already 32.23 CZK, which is 77 percent more. The ministry said that sugar prices were significantly affected by the rise in energy costs for producers who started production from last year’s harvest in autumn.
According to the Ministry, the current average consumer price of sugar has surpassed historical highs, sugar has not yet cost more than CZK 30 per kilogram in stores. The previous record was CZK 26.1 from 2004, the ministry said.
Source: Tyden.cz by www.tyden.cz.
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