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Cost of living Families face €780 rise in food and drink costs over next year as prices set to soar

But that increase could rise close to €4 a day or more if Russia's invasion of Ukraine disrupts critical wheat and fuel exports


Stock photo

Stock photo

Stock photo

Irish shoppers face paying almost €3 more a day for food and drink over the next year as inflation hits the price of dairy, meat, bread, cereals, coffee and alcohol.

But that increase could rise close to €4 a day or more if Russia's invasion of Ukraine disrupts critical wheat and fuel exports to Europe.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has predicted the price of an average Irish household shopping bill will rise by €780 over the next 12 months.

However, food industry sources said this could be a conservative estimate given the pressure exerted by the rising costs of manufacturing, raw materials, distribution, fuel, logistics and even Brexit.

They said this figure could rise by closer to €1,000 by February next year as producers have not yet passed on the increased costs they have sustained to consumers.

However, current inflation estimates were conducted before Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine.

Rabobank has now warned that if the Russian invasion disrupts grain exports from Ukraine - hailed as the "breadbasket" of the world - then European importers could face paying 30pc more for wheat and 20pc more for corn within weeks.

Soaring flour prices will result in surging bread costs.

Wheat is already at its highest price for almost 11 years.

Russia and Ukraine together account for 25pc of global wheat supplies.

Meanwhile, any disruption of gas and oil exports from Russia due to sanctions could drive fuel prices up by between 15pc and 30pc, with oil having already surged past $100 (€89) per barrel.

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Inflation hit 5.5pc in December and while it eased to 5pc last month, there are fears the rate of Irish inflation could rise again.

The Bank of England has warned inflation in the UK could peak at 7pc in April.

The 5.5pc hike in food prices here last December was the highest recorded in Ireland for 20 years.

The impact of rising prices is being felt at the breakfast table, where the cost of a full Irish fry-up - bread, milk, rashers, sausages, eggs, pudding and butter - has risen from an average of €16.51 in 2021 to €17.47 today, a hike of 6pc, with fears mounting that the price could reach €18.15 in early 2023.

CSO statistician Colin Cotter said the national average price for an 800g white sliced pan was up 10c in 12 months. A loaf of brown bread rose by 13.2c over the same period.

Increases in the price of bread have been due to Brexit, with up to 80pc of flour for Irish bakeries sourced from the UK.

Butter prices have risen by 12c per pound - amid fears dairy products, just like beef and pork, will rise in price because of the spiral in agricultural input costs.

Ireland's price spiral began last April and inflation has been at 5pc or higher each month since October.

Alcohol prices have already soared, with an average increase of 6.1pc in the cost of a pint of Guinness.

Lager and ale prices rose by 4.9pc.

Electricity costs are up 22.4pc, gas up 27.7pc and home-heating oil up 50.1pc in the year.

Love Irish Food director Kieran Rumley said inflationary pressures are hitting everyone from producers to consumers.

"We will see movement in relation to food price increases over the coming months - that is most certainly the case," he said.

Food Drink Ireland director Paul Kelly said the industry was struggling to deal with the inflationary challenges without resorting to major price hikes.

"There is an inevitability that we are going to see more food inflation - it is being driven by a number of factors, including the stop-start of Covid and a shift in consumption patterns," Mr Kelly said.  

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