One of the most consumed foods by Brazilians, milk is starting to weigh on consumers’ pockets. This is because it is already possible to find the 1 liter long-life packaging for more than R$ 7. In some establishments in more expensive areas, this value can reach almost R$ 10 for special brands.
According to the latest IPCA survey (Broad Consumer Price Index) released by the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics), long-life milk has risen 29.28% in the last 12 months — and 28.03 % only in 2022.
The product is one of the main items that drive the increase in inflation within the food and beverage group, and inflationary pressure should continue, as we are in the production off-season.
“Milk prices are on the rise due to limited supply. With the winter and drier climate, the quality of pastures drops and, therefore, the feeding of the herd is affected, leading to a drop in production”. says Natália Grigol, a researcher in the field of milk at the Center for Advanced Studies in Applied Economics, at the University of São Paulo (Cepea – Esalq/USP).
According to the specialist, the climatic effects of La Niña also contributed to the rise in the price of milk in the field and, consequently, in the market.
According to her, the drought (caused by La Niña) at the end of last year and beginning of this year reduced the quality of the pasture for feeding the animals, affecting the performance of the activity.
The study also points out that feed, mineral supplements, fertilizers and fuel have increased in the last three years, which has generated an increase in the operational cost of the milk producer.
“This led many ranchers to leave the activity or to mop up investments. As a result, we now face difficulty in raising the level of supply”, says Natália.
When does the milk off season end?
The off-season period should continue until mid-September, when spring rains are expected to return. However, this does not mean that the increased supply of dairy products will bring relief to the consumer.
“It is possible that global demand [por leite] drain domestic supply and this can be intensified by the devalued real. Therefore, it is difficult to predict that there will be a reversal in food prices, such as derivatives, given the macroeconomic position that Brazil has adopted”, says the Cepea researcher.
The price of milk in the markets
According to research carried out during the pandemic by Behup, a technology company specializing in studies of human behavior and consumption, 90% of the Brazilian population consumes milk regularly, with 58% making use of the drink every day.
Even with the reduction of family income, 70% of regular milk consumers said that the food could not be missing at home. However, inflated prices are starting to scare the Brazilian:
I went to the supermarket just now, the cheapest milk was $6.79. Can you believe it!?
— Flavia Casagrande (@Flaviacasag74) June 28, 2022
I paid R$6 for milk yesterday and I came home pissed because I thought it was expensive… I went back to the market today and now the milk is R$7.10 kkkkkkk
— Pablo (@pabro_) June 30, 2022
Even breakfast is expensive, look how much is a liter of milk, not to mention the coffee powder, sugar, butter and bread..
Just milk for 30 days would cost $206.70, tell me if it’s not necessary to juggle to close the month. pic.twitter.com/dfeDQXDwfs
— really says Marcele (@MarcelleBolive1) June 15, 2022
O UOL researched the price of the drink, in 1 liter packages, in three online supermarkets and found values ranging from R$ 5.50 to almost R$ 10.00. See below:
Highest value: R$ 9.90 (Pasteurized Whole Milk No Carbon 1L) Lowest value: R$ 5.49 (Full UHT Milk Piracanjuba 1L)
Highest value: R$ 6.89 (UHT Whole Milk Piracanjuba 1L) Lowest value: R$ 5.89 (UHT Whole Milk Parmalat 1L)
Highest value: R$ 7.69 (Full UHT Milk Type A Leitíssimo 1L) Lowest value: R$ 5.59 (UHT Whole Milk Quatá 1L)
Cheese and powdered milk are also expensive
According to the bulletin released by Cepea – Esalq/USP, the price of dairy products should also continue to rise in the coming months. The study shows that the first half of June registered an appreciation of dairy products.
Mozzarella cheese can be found on average for R$ 34.67/kg, and whole milk powder for R$ 29.99/kg.
Foodstuffs rose 11.9% and 5.5%, respectively, compared to May prices.