Prices for pasta are on the rise
Media

Prices for pasta are on the rise

Poor weather conditions led to poor wheat yields around the world. This has an impact on products like pasta, couscous and bulgur: they cost significantly more.

Friday, December 17, 2021

The poor wheat harvest is now reflected in increased prices for pasta. According to the "Tages-Anzeiger", the shortage of raw materials has led to price increases of one third for certain products. For example, a kilo of Prix-Garantie Fusilli now costs 1.20 francs instead of 0.90 francs at Coop. Penne Rigate from Barilla also cost more. A 500 gram pack now costs 2.50 francs instead of 2.20 francs. At the same time, other raw material prices have also risen. Due to the switch of many producers from palm oil to rapeseed oil, demand exceeds supply. This is also reflected in higher prices and is likely to have an impact on many products that contain rapeseed oil.


Trend was emerging

The price increases were already apparent in autumn. Heat waves in North America as well as continuous rain and floods in Central and Eastern Europe led to a miserable durum wheat harvest. This was reported by "20 Minuten". A gap was created on the world market, which now leads to higher prices for durum wheat products. This year, a tonne of durum wheat costs twice as much as last year. Because most of the durum wheat processed in Switzerland comes from North America, Swiss consumers will have to pay more not only for pasta, but probably also for couscous or bulgur.


Reduced quality for bread wheat

According to the industry organisation Swiss Granum, the 2021 bread grain harvest will also be below average in terms of both quantity and quality. The forecast was confirmed by Swiss Granum. The umbrella organisation of Swiss millers (DSM) also sees additional costs coming for the mills to compensate for the weak grain quality. Due to the weather conditions and the partly very late harvest, there was widespread grain sprouting, which resulted in a lower quality of the bread wheat.

Disappointing harvests in 2021

Disappointing harvests in 2021 For nearly every crop, 2021 was a year of partial and in some places total losses. Particularly hard-hit were vineyards and orchards, where severe hail destroyed a large portion of the harvest. Contributing factors included the fields being waterlogged and the serious problem of fungal diseases. Mildew and blight spread especially well because of the wet conditions. Farmers were forced to rely on effective pesticides in order to protect their potatoes to some degree against blight. If they hadn’t used pesticides, their crops would have been a total failure. One hundred and fifty years ago, fungal disease destroyed entire annual harvests and led to horrible famines, resulting in a million deaths in Ireland (out of a population at the time of 8 million) and led to mass emigration. The wet summer in 2021 would also likely have led to famine in previous generations – when there were no effective pesticides and imports were not possible. And this would have occurred in the same summer when two popular initiatives aimed to prohibit the use of pesticides and financially reward farmers who do not use them and thus food waste as well. A current study by Agroscope shows once again: A total renunciation of pesticides would result in a crop loss of up to 47 percent. This would mean more imports in areas where imports are possible. In those areas where there are no substitutes, shelves would be filled with inferior products or they would be bare. Shortages would also mean higher prices for consumers.

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