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Leading ingredients experts, Eurostar Commodities warn that the 2021 durum wheat harvest is recording fresh high prices, resulting in an almost emergency situation. Significant price increases in raw materials will see on-shelf prices of pasta and macaroni spiral upwards.

The crisis has been triggered by a worsening situation in major durum wheat producer, Canada where the forecast has been revised down by more than one-third from 5 million tonnes to only 3.4 million tonnes. There has been resulting panic and global speculation. The market is predicting that there will not be enough durum wheat for the demand that exists globally.

Ingredients expert, Jason Bull, Director, Eurostar Commodities 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”

Durum wheat is the key ingredient of pasta. It is the second most cultivated species of wheat after common wheat and is ground down into semolina to make a variety of different products including pasta and macaroni.

Influencing factors include extreme heat in Canada where there has been hardly any rainfall since seeding and poor weather in Europe with lots of rain affecting quality and yield. French wheat has also had a poor year with the poor quality due to excessive rain.

(source: Eurostar Commodities, image: pexels)