Cost of Ulster fry climbs by 6.4%: Ulster Bank

Cost of Ulster fry climbs by 6.4%: Ulster Bank
Rocketing food prices driven up by the war in Ukraine and rising energy costs have seen the cost of an Ulster fry climb by 6.4%.

The Ulster Bank’s Ulster Fry Index, used as an annual indicator of inflation in food and the wider economy, has risen by almost a third since 2008 and is now at its highest level since March 2014.

Ulster Bank chief economist Richard Ramsey warned that rise could soon be in the double-digits, saying: “Given the surge in energy prices already, alongside the disruption to the global food supply-chain stemming from the war between Russia and Ukraine.

“The Ulster Fry Index is expected to experience double-digit inflation over the next 12 months. This would see the Ulster Fry Index hit a new record high.”

Mr Ramsey was speaking at an event to mark the launch of this year’s Balmoral Show, which is sponsored by Ulster Bank.

The Ulster Fry Index showed that milk saw the biggest price increase in the index with a rise of 16.7%, followed by coffee on 14.9% and tomatoes on 13.6%.

“Russia and Ukraine are two of the most important producers and exporters of agricultural commodities in the world,” Mr Ramsey said. “Overall, the two countries export one in eight of all calories traded worldwide.

“What Saudi Arabia is to oil, Ukraine and Russia are to cereal crops. And don’t forget that cereal crops aren’t just a direct source of food, they are also a major indirect source of food in that they are fed to the livestock that we then consume.

“Food supply problems will further fuel economic nationalism due to the scramble for food security, meaning the further unwinding of globalisation, or de-globalisation.

“Indeed, such is the concern about the supply of food that countries are now hoarding and stockpiling by banning exports.”