Pasta-makers fear shortages due to durum wheat supply pinch

Pasta-makers fear shortages due to durum wheat supply pinch
An anticipated poor durum wheat harvest in Canada have raised concerns that pasta-makers in Italy could be left short of supplies in the coming months. Photo: Pixabay
- Advertisement -

An almost 50% smaller durum wheat harvest compared with that in 2020 in top exporting country Canada, has raised the alarm among Italian pasta-makers, fearing a substantial supply shortage in coming months.

This after durum wheat prices skyrocketed during the past Northern Hemisphere summer.

Canada usually accounts for about two-thirds of global durum wheat trade, but extreme heat and drought experienced this year is expected to result in output declining by about three million tons below 2020 levels.

- Advertisement -

As a result, prices quoted for durum wheat reached 13-year highs in November, fuelling concerns about food inflation at a time when many economies were struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, Reuters reported.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, its food price index was at a 10-year high, with the cost of bread also rising due to European wheat prices hitting a peak this month.

In Italy, forecasts for that country’s domestic durum wheat crop, which would normally cover most of pasta-makers’ needs, was also recently decreased.

According to Reuters, Italy’s food producers were particularly exposed to turmoil in the wider market for this niche wheat variety.

According to strategic grains analyst, Severine Omnes-Maisons, some Italian processors risk being caught short when the local crop runs out and may see production stoppages in the coming months.

“In terms of prices and scarcity of durum, the worst is perhaps still to come.”

According to analysts, durum wheat stocks were already at a six-year low, partly due to consumers hoarding pasta during COVID-19-related lockdown periods.

Although the price of several agricultural crops had experienced steep increases this year due to harvest setbacks and mounting supply chain costs, durum wheat had been particularly hard hit, with export prices almost doubling since June.

- Advertisement -