Grocery bills in Spain: the three IVA sales tax reduced basic foodstuffs that increased most in price in April

Grocery bills in Spain: the three IVA sales tax reduced basic foodstuffs that increased most in price in April

A Facua consumer study verified that some basic items in the shopping basket became more expensive again last month, although some others experienced a slight drop in price

Raquel Merino


Sunday, 5 May 2024, 23:31


Food prices have risen by 38% in the last three years in Spain. This is according to an analysis carried out by the national Organisation of Consumers and Users (OCU) across the main Spanish supermarket chains. It would seem that the trend is continuing upwards, despite measures taken by central government to eliminate or reduce IVA (Spain's sales tax) on some basic foodstuffs (extended to 30 June 2024).

The consumer rights lobbying group - Facua-Consumidores en Acción - investigated the change in prices between March and April this year on a series of food basics, including fruit, vegetables, pasta, eggs, flour, lentils, rice, olive oil and sunflower oil.

Three basic foodstuffs benefitting from this reduced IVA are among those that have risen the most in price in April compared to March across the main supermarket and hypermarket chains. They are potatoes, carrots and iceberg lettuce.

Turning first to the humble spud, the average price of a 5-kilo bag of potatoes has risen by 9.3%, according to Facua's analysis. Meanwhile, the average price of a kilo of carrots has risen by 3.1% in the last month, and iceberg lettuce costs an average of 2.6% more than in March.

Although these were the most significant increases, they were not the only ones. Facua found that 200-250g of fresh garlic cost 2.6% more in April than the previous month. The price of olive oil continued to rise too - an average increase of 2.2%. Conference pears (1.5%), a dozen eggs (1%) and a carton of whole, long-life milk (0.45%) also went up in price between these last two months.

What of the rest?

It is not all bad news for our pockets. According to Facua's analysis, the prices of some foods remained unchanged (as with sliced mushrooms, red potatoes and a kilo of short-grain rice), while others even fell in price in April compared to March. Within this price-drop group are brown (pardina) lentils (-0.5%), a 500g packet of macaroni (-1.8%), fuji apples (-1.9%), a kilo of onions (-2.7%), lemons (-2.9%), sunflower oil (-3.6%), golden delicious apples (-4.5%), oranges (-5.9%), white seedless grapes (-7.1%) and a 500g tray of strawberries (-25.4%).

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