Putin’s hits Christmas with tree price inflation | Really Simple Money
The war in Ukraine is to blame for many things and the obvious link is the soaring price of fuel, but it also seems that Vladimir Putin’s war is having an impact on that ultimate icon of the season, the Christmas tree.
According to local reports a combination of factors have pushed the cost of real trees into the stratosphere, with some selling for up to $350.
There are a few reasons why. Fuel and fertiliser costs have spiked, and extreme weather conditions in Australia mean over recent years mean that there is a shortage of higher quality trees.
Added costs and lower supply can mean only one thing, and that is higher prices, and in the case of Christmas trees, much higher prices.
The Australian has reported that a traditional Monterey pine is up to 20% more expensive this year, with a 1.5 metre tree going for at least $110.
Up in the Blue Mountains Merlino’s Christmas Trees is an established brand and the company says they are suffering from a 40% decline in stock. They are selling 2.7 metre trees for $350.
It takes four or fives years to grow a pine to the point where it can be cut down and sold as a Christmas tree, and the last few years have been full of weather events and disruptions which have created a major shortage.
Consumers are apparently undeterred, and have been queuing up for the Merlino trees.
It’s not just an Australian phenomenon either. Prices for trees in the US are also spiking.
According to the US National Christmas Tree Association the cost of a tree in 2021 was just over A$100, and this year the average is around A$140.
The association is largely blaming fertiliser prices, which have spiked up to 800% over several years. The price rises begin with wholesalers who are passing on 15% increases to retailers, who are then adding their own margins.
For many people a real tree, with its evocative look and smell, is what Christmas is all about and they are prepared to pay more for their Christmas tree experience.
Others of us use fake trees, and bring the same one out of the box each year. It might not have the same impact as a real tree, but you only need to buy these trees once and they can last for years.
That leaves more money in the Christmas budget for other items which are more expensive this year. Checked the prices on oysters and salmon lately?