Butter prices should stop rising

Increased supplies of butter fat are one factor that should stabilize prices

Butter prices should stabilize or start dropping in the Czech Republic. The price should not rise again before Christmas.

Some chains have already dropped prices. Lidl has negotiated new terms with its suppliers and the price for 250 grams of butter has fallen by about Kč 10 already from high of Kč 59.90. Lidl spokeswoman Zuzana Holá told daily Pražský deník that the chain's cheapest butter was less than Kč 45. Rival chain Billa said it also would drop prices if suppliers dropped theirs.

Food Chamber (PK) spokeswoman Dana Večeřová told the daily that enough reasons existed to stabilize or drop the price of butter. “The price of cream, which is one of the reasons for the high price of butter, is slowly declining on the European market. Also, the hysteria around high prices is calming down,” she said.

PK President Miroslav Toman told public broadcaster Czech Television that there would be enough butter and the price should stabilize near the current level.

Jiří Kopáček, chairman of the Czech-Moravian Dairy Association, told Pražský deník that based on current milk prices, a package of butter should be between Kč 43 and Kč 45.

He added that demand was also a factor. Many people have either stockpiled butter while the price was still rising or have switched to alternatives such as margarine.

The supply of dairy fat should also be rising naturally. In autumn and winter milk from cows increases in fat.

Toman added that market competition was also a factor. Some stores have dropped prices below Kč 40 to attract customers, he said.

PK's Večeřová said that it was too early to discuss price trends for next year, as there were too many factors to consider including livestock costs, global prices and the level of exports from countries such as New Zealand.

The latest figures from the Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ) published Oct. 9 state that butter prices in September rose 9.7 percent compared to the previous month and reached Kč 229.45 per kilogram or .57.36 for 250 grams. Compared to the previous year butter was 55.1 percent more expensive.

Butter saw the largest increase of all of the items monitored by the ČSÚ for its consumer price index.

Overall, prices for September dropped 0,1 percent compared to August and rose 2.7 percent compared to the previous year.

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