The pasta dish is becoming more and more expensive in Italy

Pasta or pizza are the other flags of Italy, but tasting these dishes is becoming more and more expensive. because of rising energy prices and a turbulent global commodity market, now also because of the war in Ukraine.

“The price of pasta in the supermarket has increased due to the increase in the price of durum wheat since last October. The raw material, energy, transport and everything necessary for it to reach the shelves has increased” , explains Andrea to Efe. , director of the cereal sector of the Italian Agricultural Consortium (CAI).

Daily inflation

The word “inflation” resonates more and more frequently in Italian shops, bars and restaurants. For example, overnight the “espresso” coffee has changed from the usual eighty cents in Rome to the round euro, to the surprise of the parishioners.

“We will have to raise prices because otherwise we will not survive,” Mauro confesses to Efe with resignation, in front of a grocery store in the Roman district of Prati.

For days, the ovens that supply bread, pasta, cookies or pastries to his store, the Macelleria Bordiga, have been warning that prices will increase “between 25% and 30%” because the flour is through the roof, and that it is already having an impact on your pocket.

The shadow of the energy crisis that is sweeping the European continent hangs over this phenomenon.

In Italy, prices underwent their eighth consecutive acceleration in February, rising by 5.7%, a level not seen since 1995, but above all housing, water, electricity and fuel soared, by 27 .3% over one year.

Transport (9.0%), food (4.9%) and restaurants (4.0%) have also become more expensive, according to the National Institute of Statistics.

the flight of spaghetti

Inflation also hits distinguished pasta. In the Unione Italiana Food association, they warn that their manufacturers, spread over some 120 companies, including many century-old and family businesses, with more than 10,000 employees, “are going through an unprecedented crisis”.

The price of durum wheatused in this treat, has been stable for “a few weeks” but accumulates an 80% rise in the last year due to climate and harvest changes, international speculation and the accumulation of reserves by certain powers.

It also affects energy escalation because the mills and dryers require a lot of electricity, Pasini alleges, as well as the increase in the cost of packaging and oil, and in this sense the Russian crisis will mark the coming months.

And it is that the “Bel Paese” is especially sensitive to the fluctuations of the international market because although it produces, sells and boasts pasta or pizza, its preparation largely depends on the fields of other latitudes.

Concretely, Italy imports 64% of the common wheat used in its bread or its confectionery, 44% of the durum wheat, necessary for pasta, 47% of the corn and 73% of its soya, the latter two essential for animal feed, they explain in the CAI.

The weight of war in Ukraine

Therefore, the war caused by the invasion of Ukraine by Russia does not help to calm the situation eitherin turn aggravated by the economic sanctions imposed by other powers such as the European Union or the United States on the regime of Vladimir Putin.

Russia is the world’s largest wheat exporter and Ukraine the fifth.The two account for more than a third of world grain exports and the former is also the main producer of fertilizers, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The impact of this conflict on the Italian table varies according to the food: with regard to the hard grain it will be “extremely marginal” because in 2021 it was not imported from Ukraine and that which arrived from Russia represented less than 3 %.

But things are changing with soft wheat, with which we make bread, desserts, pizza or animal feed and of which Ukraine is one of the main producers.

“In a globalized economy, the oscillation of one commodity drives the others”, The secretary of the Italian Pasteros, Luigi Cristiano Laurenza, said in a statement: “We cannot exclude that the conflict also has indirect effects on pasta”, he underlines.

In any case, since the beginning of the war, the price of soft cereals has increased by 12% and that of maize by 14.5%.

As a solution, the Coldiretti, the largest farmers’ association in the country, says it is ready to cultivate an additional 75 million quintals of corn and wheat with the aim of alleviating “the external supply difficulties caused by the war”.

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