Shortages of durum wheat caused by heatwaves across Canada and Europe have led to an “emergency situation”, a supplier has warned.
Canda, the world’s leading producer of durum wheat, has seen its production fall by more than one-third from 5m tonnes to 3.4m tonnes due to rising temperatures and scarce rainfall.
Jason Bull, director of Yorkshire-based food supplier Eurostar Commodities, which imports more than 10,000 tonnes of food ingredients each year, said customers should expect price rises from as early as October. He said he expects spaghetti prices to rise 50%, from £1.20 per 500g to £1.80.
Bull said: “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 and farmers are holding onto wheat and driving the price up.
“We expect to see shortages on supermarket shelves and increasing prices which will ultimately be passed onto consumers. We may also see substitutions whereby pasta will be produced with soft wheat flour rather than hard durum wheat.”
The SM Commodities Index shows the price of wheat rose 63% year-on-year in August, and 11.8% month-on-month.
The news is the latest blow to customers, after supermarkets and brands warned prices would have to rise due to rising costs caused by increased commodity costs and the HGV driver crisis.
Hardy’s and Echo Falls owner Richard Foye said price increases were inevitable, and Christmas shortages should be expected.
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