STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
WITH chicken meat, milk and bread having undergone significant price rises earlier this year, eating their way into funds set aside for household shopping, consumers are having to brace themselves yet again for further price hikes with the soaring cost of flour, sunflower oil and lemons.

A glass of freshly-made lemonade is costing a thirsty public considerably more this summer as lemons have recently been subject to the largest year-on-year price increase of any of the items included in an average weekly shop. The cost of sunflower oil and flour has also shot up dramatically. It wasn't all bad news yesterday however, when a report released by the central government Ministry for Industry, Tourism and Commerce indicated that onions, green peppers and anchovies were the items which had most gone down in price. The Ministry said that lemons, sunflower oil and wheat flour were the consumables which had undergone the steepest price increases this last month of July in comparison with the same month of the previous year - the increases ranged between 31.3 and a staggering 64.21 percent.

Specific analysis revealed that lemons topped the price hikes with costs having gone up by 64.21 percent, followed by sunflower oil which has gone up by 47.12 percent over the past year; and wheat flour which has increased in price by 31.3 percent.

Other fresh food which underwent significant increases in July apart from those already mentioned, were oranges (15.51%); blue whiting (13.59%), swiss chard (12.51%); eggs (11.82%); followed by - once again - fresh chicken (10.27%) and sardines (9.11%).

Looking at costs increases from a year-on-year perspective in ready prepared and packed foods, spaghetti has undergone a significant price rise (26.57%), sterilized milk (21.83%); rice (14.25%); and sliced bread (13.95%).

At the other end of the scale, there were encouraging price down-turns including the cost of onions - lower by 9.75 percent; green peppers (5.23%); anchovies (5.11%); green beans (3.39%) and salmon (2.06%). To a lesser extent, mussels are now less expensive - down by 1.95 percent.

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