168 óra spotted that the online shopping app of Auchan started selling potatoes per piece – after a price hike at the end of last year.
I was grocery shopping the other day, idly browsing vegetables on the produce stand, when the sales lady warned me that “those are 390”. She was pointing at the potatoes I was about to pick.
I thanked her and kept picking potatoes, but then again, I am not a seasoned grocery shopper. My wife, on the other hand, had a few nasty things to say about the price.
Turns out, 390 is not an acceptable price for potatoes – but it was not the sales lady’s fault. Prices skyrocketed last year and as I looked it up, I found an amazingly detailed report about exactly that, brought to you by index.hu, one of the last remaining independent news sites. Turns out, the rise of potatoes prices is nothing new, it has been the biggest among vegetables for the last 15 years. The long-term trend is down to many factors, the changing climate, over-complicated regulations, and the resulting uncompetitiveness of Hungarian farmers are front runners among them.
Basically, by the end of every February, Hungarian potatoes run out and the country needs imports. (Don’t tell this to the multitudes of Hungarians who still seriously believe that Hungary is an agrarian powerhouse, not least because the government media keeps parroting such nonsense, essentially revoking the 50s communist propaganda. Oh, and that our homeland’s farmers are under attack by global something something.)
But last year’s price hike was still exceptional. Well, unless you read official inflation data, according to which the price of the staple vegetables only grew by 20.5% compared to last February. Gaslighting, anyone?
The official price rise of potatoes was 20.5% – but tell that to the pensioners who have to pay the retail price, not the one suggested by the statistical office. They would also probably disagree on the headline inflation rate being just 2.7%.
Anyway, 20.5% year-on-year is still massive, any whenever the statistical office confesses to that much inflation, you better prepare for something even worse in real life. And so it is. Instead of around 160 for 2017 (according to official data), it now costs 390 in retail. The wholesale price went from 80 last February to 140 today.
(Prices are all in Hungarian forints, 1 euro = 318 forints today)
Featured image: frozenhaart