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At banana prices Fruit prices skyrocket in Salvador and raises inflation

The preview of January inflation (IPCA-15) in Salvador and its Metropolitan Region is the highest in the country, reaching 1.08%. The number is the highest in the region for the month of January since 2008, when it reached 1.19%. Of the groups surveyed, food was the one that most contributed to inflation, driven by the increase in food at home and, mainly, the consumption of fruits, especially bananas. The data were released this Wednesday (26) by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).

Despite showing a deceleration for the second consecutive month (it had been 1.47% in November and 1.13% in December), the MR Salvador index in January was the highest in the country among the 11 areas surveyed by the IBGE (see list at the end of the report), being well above that registered in the country as a whole (0.58%).

“This period of December and January is a time when tourist cities generally experience price hikes and the inflation index may be capturing this. It is a time when the city receives more people and there is an increase in demand for products and services”, highlights Rafael Sales, economic consultant at Arazul Capital.

The IBGE survey takes down the famous expression “at a banana price” because this was the item in the food group that most pressured the IPCA-15 in the MR Salvador: banana-prata recorded a rise of 24.36%. Papaya had the highest absolute increase among all the items investigated (29.74%), but this fruit has a lower weight in the calculation of the indicator.

All nine groups of products and services that make up the Extended National Consumer Price Index 15 (IPCA-15) rose in January, but food (1.63%) had the main inflationary pressure, driven by the increase in food in the household (1.79%) and, in particular, fruit (9.90%).

The housewife Lúcia Pedreira, 53, says she noticed the increase in fruit prices between December and January and reduced the space they occupy in the cart. “Fruit has gone up a lot and I only go on the day when the fruit is on sale, but even so, it's complicated. I bought bananas for R$3.90 a kg last month. When I went this month, it was for R$5.90. Pineapple even came with a low price, around R$ 3, now it is R$ 5. The last time I went to the market, I took only apples because the price had not gone up”, he says.

Alessandro Oliveira, state coordinator of the phytosanitary program for bananas at the Bahia State Agricultural Defense Agency (Adab), explains that the increase in the price of the fruit is common during this period. “The rise in prices at the beginning of the year for bananas is normal because of the off-season, which runs from December to early March, and as a result, there is a shortage of bananas in the market. In addition, there is another factor: the rains in the producing regions. The banana-prata, which stands out in Bom Jesus da Lapa, had a low because it rained a lot there, so it generated problems in the properties and also in relation to transport because of the damaged roads. The plantain also goes in this batch, in Presidente Tancredo Neves, Valença and Wenceslau Guimarães”, he explains.

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Photo: Disclosure / Adab

President of the Association of Housewives of Bahia (ADCB), Jaqueline Macedo regrets that inflation ends up affecting the most vulnerable and still proves to be an obstacle to healthy eating. “With the pandemic, people avoided going out, going to restaurants, and started eating more at home. There was also a wave of seeking a healthier life, many people began to exercise, for example, and others sought to change eating habits. But then we come up against the price, not everyone can eat better because these foods, in general, are more expensive”, he observes.

The second group that most impacted the increase in previous inflation in the MR Salvador was housing (1.19%), driven by increases in water and sewage rates (4.45%) and condominium fees (3.15%). . For the economic consultant of Arazul Capital Rafael Sales, the pandemic helps to explain this increase. “With the pandemic, many landlords and condominiums have postponed rent and condominium price adjustments. This time of year is a period when contract negotiations take place and, probably, landlords and condominiums are correcting prices now that economic activities are resuming and people are returning to work more normally”, he points out.

cheapest gasoline
On the other hand, although the transport group showed a slight increase (0.12%), the drop in fuel prices (2.40%), especially gasoline (2.50%), was what most helped to hold the preview of RMS inflation in January. Gasoline was the item that exerted the greatest inflationary pressure in the region in 2021 and starts 2022 with the opposite effect.

Photo: Agência Brasil

But Rafael Sales warns that this is no reason to be excited because there is no indication of a price reduction trend. “Structurally, there was no relevant change in the Brazilian market that justifies that this reduction is a trend for the coming months”, he says.

Economist Edval Landulfo adds that the final result of inflation should already show the opposite movement of gasoline. “This preview number does not take into account this week's barrel readjustment, so what we need to expect is the IPCA released in February, when January ends. We will likely see an increase in the transport group, including gasoline. The increase should be smaller than that of December due to the vacation period”, he warns.

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What is inflation and what are its consequences?

Inflation represents, in general, the rise in prices. The so-called inflation rate is an average, which considers the growth in prices of goods and services at a given time. Inflation occurs when there are more people wanting to buy than companies are able to sell. This shows that there is some kind of problem (such as high costs) when producing and makes the prices of the products rise. (See the IBGE video and learn more about the topic).

The economist and investment advisor at ACT Investimentos João Felipe Monteiro points out that the consequence of inflation is the loss of consumer purchasing power, causing difficulties in meeting basic needs. “Inflation, in short, is the currency losing value, so what you used to buy with R$100, now, with inflation rising, you will no longer be able to buy, you will need more money”, he explains.

Economic consultant Rafael Sales adds that the moment is of high inflation combined with an economy that does not grow. “This situation is bad and unequal, since the poorest consumers are the most vulnerable to high inflation, as they devote most of their income to consumption. Richer consumers, who have a higher savings rate, somehow manage to protect part of their income through financial investments”, he concludes.

Preview of January inflation for the 11 surveyed regions: (IBGE)

  • Salvador – 1.08%
  • Belém – 0.82%
  • Recife – 0.72%
  • Belo Horizonte – 0.72%
  • Fortress – 0.63%
  • Rio de Janeiro – 0.61%
  • São Paulo – 0.58%
  • Goiania – 0.51%
  • Curitiba – 0.32%
  • Porto Alegre – 0.21%
  • Brasilia – 0.19%
  • *Brazil – 0.58%

Where to find the cheapest silver banana (Price of the Hour App, value per unit)

  1. Cheap Market (Cajazeiras IV) – BRL 0.35
  2. Commercial Fruit Lever (Ceasa) – R$0.38
  3. Nobilis (Valéria) – BRL 0.39
  4. O Caipira (Ipitanga) – R$0.40
  5. Fruvele Plus (Simões Filho) – R$0.40
  6. Mercadinho LM (Campinas de Pirajá) – R$0.41
  7. Frutcom Express (Simões Filho) – R$0.60
  8. Polifrut (São Cristóvão) – R$0.65
  9. Juarez (Rio Vermelho) – BRL 0.79
  10. Maxxi Bonocô (Cosme de Farias) – R$0.98
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