‘Modest’ milk price hike ahead

Dairy industry representatives have hit back after the Labour Chamber (AK) voiced suspicions of an “extra Vienna price hike” for some products.The AK announced earlier this week it found that many foodstuffs including dairy products cost exorbitantly more in Munich, Germany, than in Vienna. The cities are often compared in various regards due to their similar population figures.Now the Austrian Milk Products Association (VÖM) criticised the AK for “trying to create panic” among customers. The VÖM claimed that the prices of dairy products were “on a very low level” in Austria at the moment. However, the organisation added that “modest increases” were likely in the “very near future.”The association argued today (Fri) the prices for milk, eggs, yoghurt and other products rose less significantly than production costs for dairy farmers. It added that the average Austrian household spends only 1.6 per cent of its whole budget on dairy products.Austrian farmers receive between 34 and 34.8 Eurocents for every delivered kilogram (kg) of milk at the moment. One litre of the product costs between 79 Eurocents and 1.25 Euros in the country’s supermarkets.Dairies have said it is important that farmers get more than 30 Eurocent per kg to ensure they can continue doing business and make a living. They have also pointed out that Austria has stricter anti-genetic engineering and animal rights rules than most other European countries.News of upcoming milk price increases comes days after Statistik Austria revealed that prices for all kinds of products and services climbed by 3.3 per cent from April 2010 to last month after a 3.1 per cent increase was registered in March 2011 compared to March 2010.Foodstuff became 3.7 per cent more expensive last month compared to the same month of last year, while car fuel price hikes remain the strongest force behind the general inflation increase.Dairy products became five per cent more expensive whereas the price for bread increased by three per cent. Vegetables were one per cent cheaper in April 2011 than in the same month of 2010 after months of soaring price rates. Non-alcoholic beverages were 10.3 per cent more expensive last month than in April 2010, while the price of coffee jumped by even 25 per cent.