Five products set to get more expensive in Switzerland due to Russia Ukraine War
Since the outbreak of war in Ukraine, economists have been sounding the alarm over potential price rises due to a shortage of workers, sanctions and damage to manufacturing plants. Even here in Switzerland, everything from transport to food is set to get more expensive - these are the five products that are likely to be hit the hardest by rising prices.
Price of meat set to go up in Switzerland
While Ukraine and Russia are leading exporters of livestock, the main reason for rising prices in the food industry is actually down to the rising cost of fertiliser. Russia is one of the world’s largest producers of ammonia, a key component of agricultural fertilisers that are used to grow crops.
The fertiliser shortage will also have a knock-on effect on the price of animal products. Due to the rising cost of growing crops, it will become more expensive for farmers to feed their livestock, thus pushing up prices of meat and dairy products.
Cost of utilities to increase
Natural gas prices have been in the news for months, with rising gas prices causing concern even before the conflict began. Since the start of the war, the price of gas in Switzerland has increased 300 percent, and utility bills have skyrocketed.
Since the weather in Switzerland is infamously cold and snowy in the winter, it’s easy to see why this is problematic. Many residents have been struggling to afford their heating bills. Hopefully, a warm spring and summer could help soften the blow, but the issue may return next year if the conflict and sanctions continue.
The energy crisis in Switzerland cannot be explained by the conflict alone. While the war is a key contributing factor to price surges in the past month, rising demand for energy after the lifting of many COVID-19 restrictions and the government’s shift to green energy is also contributing to shortages and price hikes.
Petrol price rises in Swiss transport
Much like the price of gas, the price of petrol is also heavily influenced by the war. Russia is the third-largest oil exporter in the world behind the US and Saudi Arabia, which is one of the reasons why the industry has been targeted by sanctions.
The United States and the United Kingdom have already moved to ban all imports of Russian petroleum products, but continental European countries have shown more hesitancy. War has often increased the price of oil and this, much like the increases in fertiliser prices, will likely cause a ripple effect throughout the economy.
For drivers, the cost of filling up a tank of petrol is continuing to get more expensive, and other transport services are likely to pass rising fuel costs on to consumers. This means that tickets for public transport could get more expensive, and the next time you book a flight from your local airport, the price of the journey could be a nasty shock.
Wheat may lead to large rises in the cost of bread
Ukraine is known as the breadbasket of Europe. The beginning of the war sparked concern amongst experts about the potential for wheat shortages and price rises if the conflict continued. Now, their worst fears seem to be coming true.
Switzerland loves its bread, pastries and cakes, but the rising cost of wheat could make your breakfast croissant significantly more expensive. “We can expect increases of around 10 to 15 percent this year,” said investment specialist John Plassard, in an interview with Swiss newspaper Tribune de Genève.
Switzerland is not alone in its concerns about the rising price of wheat. Many North African and Arabian countries including Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Yemen are heavily reliant on wheat exports from both Russia and Ukraine.
Cooking oils to become more expensive in Switzerland
Ukraine and Russia are both key producers of cooking oils, such as vegetable oil and rapeseed oil. The war has disrupted farmers’ ability to grow the required crops for making cooking oils and could cause a price surge in the coming weeks and months.
The rising price of vegetable and rapeseed oil comes at a difficult time, since other forms of cooking fat are also suffering from price increases. While butter and dairy products are going up in price due to the war, alternative oils such as olive oil have been rising in price for some time.
Inflation rises in Switzerland
Unfortunately, it seems inflation across the country is likely to continue over the coming months. In recent days, there has been talk on both the Russian and Ukrainian sides suggesting that there could be some progress in creating a peace agreement. The sooner both sides can come to an agreement, the better for civilians caught up in the conflict, for soldiers on the front lines and even for us overseas.