New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that wholesale electricity prices fell by 64% in July compared to the same time last year.
The CSO said that electricity costs on the wholesale market are now lower than any time during the past two years, adding that the last time that prices were lower than the current rate was in June 2021.
It added that on a monthly basis, wholesale electricity prices fell by 17.9% in July from June.
Today’s figures also show that producer prices for Food Products index dropped by 2.8% in the month to July, while they were 8.1% lower than the same time last year.
Prices for some food products fell including the price of dairy products were decreased by 2%, while Other Food Products were down 4.5%.
Prices for these products were also lower on an annual basis compared with July 2022, with Other Food Products seeing a reduction of 10.7% in the year and Dairy Products down by 17.4%.
But several other food categories were still higher in July of this year compared with the same month in 2022, including Fruit & Vegetables, which jumped by 14.9%, while Fish & Fish Products rose by 1.4% and Baking & Farinaceous Products were up 0.9%.
The CSO said that overall wholesale price inflation showed a decrease in July with a drop of 2.3% to the overall producer price index for the manufacturing industries in the month.
Producer prices for products sold on the domestic market were 0.2% higher in July this year than they were in July 2022, while export producer prices fell by 5.4% and overall producer prices were down by 5.2% in the year.
Commenting on today’s CSO figures, Daragh Cassidy, head of communications at Bonkers.ie, said that at €96 per MWh, electricity prices are still over double the level they were in 2020 before Covid and then the war in Ukraine wreaked havoc with energy prices.
The average price over the past six months, which is a better figure to use, is still over three times what would be considered normal levels, he added.
“This is why households haven’t seen a reduction in their electricity bills yet. There hasn’t been anything to pass on really. Yes, wholesale prices have fallen in recent months and some of the percentage drops look huge – but prices have fallen from really high levels to begin with. And a lot of that increase wasn’t passed on to households in the first place,” Mr Cassidy said.
“A lot of media attention has focussed on the hedging strategies of suppliers as the reason for our high prices. But the simple fact is that the cost of electricity in Ireland is still very expensive to generate and has been for many years,” he added.
Mr Cassidy said that looking forward, we should see some small reductions from suppliers over the coming weeks as hedging strategies unwind.
“But our electricity prices will remain very high for the foreseeable future unfortunately. And we may never get back to the more normal levels they were at in 2020,” he cautioned.