Ruined crops trigger near 20 per cent price leap

Britain's coldest spring for more than 50 years has sent the cost of home-grown crops surging to their highest level since August 2008, figures showed yesterday.

The price of home-produced crops sold on by farmers to food processing companies and supermarkets – treated as a raw material by the ONS – rose 19.2 per cent year-on-year, the biggest increase in more than four years.

The Office for National Statistics said anecdotal evidence suggested poor crops of potatoes and other vegetables was behind the latest rise, driven by the coldest spring since 1962.

But the producer prices figures suggest underlying inflation pressures remain subdued, with factory gate prices up 1.2 per cent in the year to May, eventually slowing the headline cost of living in the UK.

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