Efforts by the Spanish government to counter what it believes are excessive price increases for a number of fresh products appear to be paying off.
September saw massive increases in the price of products such as salad tomatoes and green beans - hikes which the retail trade attributed to the hot weather in the summer substantially reducing harvests.
But the government disagreed, pointing out that the increases in Spain were far greater than those in other heat-struck countries, and accused the retail trade of cynically increasing its profit margins.
Over the last month, the government has put in place a system allowing consumers to check the difference between the producer and retail price of a number of products by simply visiting the website of the ministry of agriculture, and this appears to have had a beneficial effect on prices in October.
The latest figures show that the prices for a number of products have fallen sharply compared to September. For example, fresh chicken prices dropped 4 per cent month-on-month, although it still remained 18 per cent more expensive than a year earlier.
Seafood prices dropped 7 per cent compared to September, while green beans were 28 per cent less expensive after a 41 per cent increase in September. Lettuces also saw a monthly slide in prices of 15.55 per cent, although this compared to the 14.6 per cent increase a month earlier and left lettuces some 14.7 per cent more expensive than in 2002.
But not every product improved month-on-month, with some in fact showing further price increase in October. This was the case for salad tomatoes, for example, the price of which rose by a further 15.2 per cent in October after a 34 per cent hike a month earlier. Tomatoes are now 46.8 per cent more expensive than they were a year ago, official government figures show.
Both potatoes and lemons also showed price increases in October, gaining 7.2 and 7.03 per cent respectively, while pear prices rose 7.8 per cent in the month, bringing the year-on-year increase to 27 per cent. Green peppers, meanwhile, were 14.4 per cent higher.