The price of meat is set to soar in the coming months, the head of the butchers’ association told the Cyprus Mail as he predicted that “hard times are coming”.

“We’ve seen nothing yet, habits will change, Cypriots who now eat on average 100kg of meat a year simply won’t be able to afford it, wages will stay the same, but prices will surge,” Costas Livadiotis told us on Tuesday.

He said that shortages in key goods required within the sector, such as animal feed, will lead to a massive rise in costs for the producers. Livadiotis said producers simply will not be able to absorb the shock themselves and will be forced to pass part of it on to the consumer.

“We’ve already had a ten per cent rise in the price of pork, next week there will likely be another ten per cent, but that’s nothing,” he said, adding that pork is currently about five euros per kilo, but it could easily reach ten euros.

He said that Russia and Ukraine contribute about 30 per cent of global wheat exports but that the knock-on effect of the war has not been truly felt yet, while food supply chains already disrupted by Covid-19 were now even more distressed.

That has led key players in the production of vital food supplies – such as Indonesia with its palm oil – to proceed with export bans, seeking to secure domestic markets.

Palm oil is the world’s most widely used vegetable oil and is used in the manufacture of many products including biscuits, margarine, laundry detergents and chocolate. Palm oil prices have risen by more than 50 per cent this year.

Export bans on goods such as fertilisers and edible oils – along with cut in supply of fuel and wheat – have led to a surge in basic commodity prices.

Ukraine and Russia account for about 80 per cent of global exports of sunflower oil.

Andreas Hadjiadamou of the Cyprus Supermarkets Association (Pasype) told the Cyprus Mail that prices have generally risen across the board since last September but that there have been no noticeable impacts yet from the war in Ukraine.

He said that while the price of pork may have risen 10-15 per cent recently there is no cause for alarm and that the public should remain calm.

World food prices rose to a record high in February to post a year-on-year increase of 20.7 per cent, the United Nations food agency said on March 5.