Bread is twice as expensive because of the war and sanctions | cooking and eating

videoBread will cost much more until 2023 due to the war in Ukraine and sanctions against Russia. According to the bakery industry, bread will be twice as expensive as it is. And the cookies, crackers, and pizza don’t escape the dance, either.

Together with Russia, Ukraine accounts for 29 percent of global wheat production. But the grain no longer came out of Ukraine because of the conflict and remained in Russia because of Western sanctions. “Grains from Ukraine mainly go to southern Europe, Africa and the Middle East,” says Sebastian Schraigin, consumer and food analyst at Rabobank. We get it mainly from France, Germany and a little bit from Holland. But all the countries that misunderstand now will also get it from there. So there will be a shortage and the price will go up.”

If the war in Ukraine and sanctions against Russia and Belarus continue for more than six months and the Black Sea ports remain closed, the price of grain could rise to 550 euros per ton, according to Shregin. “A year ago, we were alarmed when the price of wheat exceeded 180 euros per ton,” says director Wim Kannegieter of the Dutch Bakery Association (NVB). “Now analysts expect at least a doubling.”

five euro

And that’s just wheat. The prices of other food commodities have also skyrocketed, not to mention the price of gas used to ignite bakery ovens. On average, the price of a kilo of bread is 2.71 euros. This amount can sometimes be more than 5 euros. Bread is a basic necessity of life.

The NVB represents the large industrial bakeries, which represent 85 percent of the Dutch bread market and mostly supply supermarkets, bakery chains and the catering industry. Buying prices there are pretty much fixed, at a few cents per kilogram of bread. We really can’t afford these kinds of cost increases.”

No more bread


Everything suddenly became more expensive

The Superstars’ willingness to pay more depends on their relationship with the baker. But if they tighten the bolts, it could come back like a boomerang, Kanigter warns. Our members often produce exclusively for one series. If there are victims among the bakeries, this has immediate consequences; There will be no bread in those supermarkets then.”

Bakeries are holding their breath. “Since the outbreak of the war, the price of wheat has gone up by 30 percent,” says a senior catering baker in Amsterdam. You get a “very large portion” of your grain from suppliers who, in turn, get it from Ukraine.

“They pass the price increases on directly to us. You experience it from day to day. The offer is still there, thank God. As long as you pay for it.” I just stayed with the pills. “Everything suddenly became more expensive.”

He sees no alternative but a sharp increase in prices. “There is nothing that can be modified by ingredients or production. And we can’t just say we’re going to stop. The hospitality industry depends on us.”

Pizza is also more expensive

It’s not just about baking. New York Pizza CEO Philip Forrest seems confused every day by the price of wheat at the leading Parisian agricultural fair. The March wheat contract, which expires on the 22nd, cost 396.25 euros per tonne on Friday, but it has already stood at 426 euros for some time.

The pizza giant buys its ingredients from suppliers who look directly at these fair prices. “Last fall, the price of wheat actually rose above 300 euros, due to the crisis of raw materials,” says Forrest. “This was really exceptional. I can’t believe what is happening now. Bloom is already above €400.”

New York Pizza also sees no other way out than to raise prices. “We can’t really absorb price increases of 30 or 40 percent ourselves. Pizza is getting more expensive.” Not only in more than 200 franchise stores, the bakery in Amstelveen also produces dough balls for baking pizza in twenty European countries. For now, we are still able to manage, but our suppliers can no longer deliver at the agreed rates. One of our pasta partners has only four months out of stock.”

No grains in the soil


Even if that war ends in six weeks, there won’t be any grain left in the soil

If it were up to speculators on the Paris Agricultural Exchange, the consequences of the Ukrainian crisis on our food prices would have receded around September 2023 at the earliest. “The next six weeks should be sown in Ukraine for the new harvest,” says head bakery Kanigiter. “But they have something else on their mind now.”

“Even if the war ends in six weeks, there will be no grain left in the soil. This means that very soon 28 percent of global wheat production will not come.” The September and March 2023 futures contracts are now over 300 euros, a price that will continue to rise. “We will continue to eat our bread,” he predicts. “Bread is a staple food. But consumers will certainly more often buy direct bread rather than premium bread.”

Because of these price increases, an Italian “pasta crisis” is also expected:

Chrysanthemums are getting cheaper

Because of the Ukraine war, the prices of other raw materials for our food have also risen rapidly. For example, Russia and Ukraine are responsible for 75 percent of sunflower oil exports, which is critical for everyone who bakes.

Meat and chicken are also becoming more expensive. “Sixty percent of the corn for the Dutch pig and chicken feed comes from Ukraine,” says food analyst Shreygin. Feed prices make up up to 80 percent of the costs for farmers. Just figure out what that could mean for the final price.”

Increasing the yield here will not be easy. This weekend, Russia – and Belarus, one of the largest producers – halted fertilizer exports, if not already hit by the sanctions. The question now is whether farmers will use more animal manure, with all the consequences for the environment.

However, penalties also have a bitter advantage. “Because of the halt in exports to Russia, we have more pork left.” There is also a risk of a surplus of eggs, pears, bananas and even chrysanthemums, which could lead to a significant drop in prices. But these are temporary consequences. It won’t make up for the higher prices elsewhere.”

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