Prices for pasta are on the rise

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.

Poor harvest year 2021

The year 2021 will leave its mark on practically all crops in the form of harvest losses and total failures. Particularly affected are viticulture and fruit growing, where severe hailstorms destroyed most of the fruit. However, added to this was waterlogging of fields and strong pressures from plant diseases. Powdery mildew and late blight were able to spread particularly well due to the damp and wet conditions. In order to protect potatoes to some extent from late blight, farmers were dependent on effective pesticides. Without these means, there would probably have been total failures in the potato harvest as well. 150 years ago, the fungal disease destroyed entire annual crops and led to terrible famines that claimed a million lives in Ireland (out of a population of 8 million at the time) and triggered mass emigration. The wet summer of 2021 would probably also have led to famine in previous generations - when no effective pesticides were available and imports were not possible. This was taking place in a summer when two popular initiatives wanted to ban the use of pesticides or financially reward non-usage and thus wastage of food on the field. A current study by Agroscope once again confirms: A total renunciation of pesticides would result in crop failures of up to 47 percent. That means: More imports where imports are possible. Where no replacement can be obtained, second-class goods come onto the shelves or shelves remain empty. For consumers, scarcity also means higher prices.

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