Latvia heads Baltic states in food prices, says market authority

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In the second quarter of this year, all three Baltic countries experienced significant increases in food prices, according to information available from the Agricultural Market Promotion Center. Comparing food prices in stores of the capital cities, it was the highest in Rīga, LSM reported on July 12.

The head of the Center, Ingūna Gulbe, said that food prices have increased significantly in the Baltic States and worldwide. In view of the shared historical experience, demand for salt, buckwheat and black tea was more pronounced in all three Baltic States. In Estonia at the beginning of June, these products had not yet completely returned to store shelves, and in both other countries, the shelves were full again. Only the products were significantly more expensive.

“By comparing the prices of food products in the supermarket chains in the capital of the Baltic States, products are mostly more expensive in Latvia than neighbors. Meanwhile, in the Lidl chain, prices are very similar in all countries. This once again indicates that the scale of the economy plays a role," Gulbe said.

She also said that Latvian cucumbers in Tallinn were cheaper than in Riga. “But it is a pleasure that Latvian cucumbers and tomatoes stood in the center of Tallinn's Lidl, with all the labels and the Latvian flag,” Gulbe added.

Gulbe said that in the future, the biggest problem is not expensive food, but low purchasing power, which cannot grow if business is not developing.

"In the ports of Tallinn, one cannot accurately count the various passenger and cruise ships. There are so many of them! And in Vilnius, walking kilometers down the streets, where the first floors consist exclusively of cafes and restaurants, a free table cannot be found. All Lithuanians appear to be sitting on the terraces of Vilnius cafes. But they have a reduced VAT on catering. The vast majority of the population can afford such a visit. And money creates money. If there is business there will be wages, there will be taxes. People will not have to worry that products have become more expensive by some euros. Because they can afford them,” Gulbe said.

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