December 3, 2021, 14:21

    Bread prices could soar by 20% in weeks as wheat price hits nine-year high

    Bread prices could soar by 20% in weeks as wheat price hits nine-year high

    The price of bread and some bakery products could jump by up to a fifth in the coming weeks after wheat prices hit a nine-year high, industry chiefs have warned.

    Rising global demand has sent the price of bread wheat up by 26.7 per cent in the past year while other costs continue to increase including fuel for transport and gas used in baking ovens.

    Some of this will be absorbed by retailers but higher price tags on supermarket shelves are unavoidable, say experts.

    Pasta prices have already started to rise in recent weeks with more increases likely and, globally, food prices are now at a ten year high.

    Rising fuel costs are partly to blame
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    Other foods will also be affected. The wheat used for animal feed has also risen, though not by as much, currently running at around 16.2 per cent more than a year ago, reported trade journal The Grocer.

    Rising fuel costs, the lorry driver shortage and higher wages to battle the recruitment crisis are also contributing to the soaring price of many favourite foods.

    Alice Jones, analyst with agricultural body, AHDB, said: "Global wheat prices keep climbing each week on the back of supply concerns, and UK prices are following global trends."

    Bread wheat is now trading on commodity markets at £255.40 a tonne, up nearly 27 per cent on a year ago and at its highest for nine years.

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    She added: "As long as global prices keep rising there is scope for domestic prices to keep rising."

    In a recent review of global food market, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization reported a 'recent surge in agricultural input prices" adding: "Higher prices of these inputs will inevitably translate into higher production costs, and eventually into higher food prices."

    Gordon Polson, CEO of Britain's Federation of Bakers, told The Grocer: "Energy pricing is also on the rise, while HGV driver shortages and recruitment are resulting in increased wage rates."

    And Allied Bakeries, which owns Kingsmill, said the industry was "exposed to inflationary pressure in relation to the cost of flour, as well as the gas we use in our ovens and fuel for our delivery fleet."

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