The price of pasta could go up by 50% due to shortages of durum wheat.
Canada, one of the main producers of the crop, experienced a drought last summer after temperatures hit a record high. In some areas of the country temperatures soared to 49.6 C.
The drought has had a devastating effect on Canada’s durum wheat crops, which are at their lowest in 14 years. With demand for wheat still high, its price has skyrocketed and gone up by 90%.
The increase in price of durum wheat is likely to affect customers, who might subsequently see the cost of pasta, which is made of durum wheat semolina, go up by 50%.
500g of name brand spaghetti currently costs £1.20. Should the price go up, consumers could be expected to pay £1.80.
Due to the crop shortages, supermarkets could also experience low stock of pasta, one of the most consumed and affordable foods in the world.
Jason Bull, a director at Eurostar Commodities, a large importer of ambient ingredients and Italian products, commented in The Guardian: “The market is completely out of control and as a result there has been an approximately 90% increase in raw material prices as well as increases in freight.
“This is a dire situation hitting all semolina producers and all buyers of durum wheat across the globe. Companies are buying at record high prices.”
Farmer advisory service IntelliFARM President Brian Voth said to CTV News“: “I think buyers around the world have already made major shifts. A lot of rationing has to happen.”
Supermarkets in the UK have been experiencing shortages of food, partly due to the shortage of HGV drivers and partly due to the ‘pingdemic‘, which saw a large number of supermarket staff having to self-isolate after being pinged by the COVID-19 contact-tracing app.