What are the products that are about to be scarce: pasta, wheat, tomato, gasoline

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The current serious situation in Ukraine, due to the war started by the invasion of the country by the Russians, is having heavy repercussions also throughout Europe, and not only that, and of course we are also undergoing a strong impact in Italy in relation to price increases in many sectors.

As we know, by now i fuel prices, the gas and electric energy they are constantly increasing, even if in reality the increases had already begun earlier, during the phase of deep crisis that then led to this conflict, but the situation is intensifying more and more.

A hard blow for us final consumers who are realizing, in our daily lives, how much the prices of products on supermarket shelves.

The general causes of the price increase

Therefore, the foodstuffs are undergoing major price increases and this price increase could continue for a long time. Not just because the rise in fuel prices has led to one strike by hauliers resulting in a reduction in deliveries in supermarkets and shops, but also because there is it stop imports of Ukrainian wheat and maize, on which Italy also largely depends.

As we can easily understand, the causes behind the expensive prices are many and articulated and relate

  • the current shortage of grain;
  • the increase in fuel that does not allow trucks to transport products;
  • the increase in the cost of electricity which of course is fundamental in production processes.

For all these reasons, which as we will see gradually lead to a series of ring-shaped consequences, products such as bread and pasta are undergoing major increases, but also other foodstuffs they are at risk of rising prices.

Let's analyze what they are and why this happens.

Pasta, bread and pizza

THEItaly imports a large part of its wheat from abroad and the main country we address is the Canada for durum wheat.

Instead, the main supplier of Wheat in Italy it is theUkraine, but now as mentioned there is a stop of imports. This has resulted in a constant increase in the price of corn on all commodity exchanges, reaching even more than 25%. Naturally, this motivation is added to those relating to the increase in fuel prices and consequently the transport of goods, in addition to the increase in the cost of energy which is certainly needed for production processes. In addition, Canadian wheat lost a lot last year, going from nearly 7 million tons to about 3,5 million as well cause of climate change.

So, with these meager amounts of grain in circulation, i prices rise e final buyers are also affected when buying bread, pasta and other wheat-based products at the supermarket or in the shop, but also simply by going to eat a pizza on the weekend.

Pasta in the supermarket
Photo credit: Giuseppe Pons

Pureed tomatoes and peeled tomatoes

Also peeled tomatoes and tomato purée in bottle and canned risk to suffer the increase in prices. How come? Due to what we have said above, farmers may find it cheaper to grow cereals rather than tomatoes.

It would be a more profitable business that of convert part of the land and focus on the cultivation of cereals such as wheat and this is what the Agri-food Cooperative Alliance is concerned about. In fact, in a note from him, he recalls that these are the crucial weeks for tomato cultivation and many producers may not choose this path, but focus on but, sunflower, sorghum e soy which unfortunately will no longer come from Russia, Ukraine and Hungary.

This means that the tomato cultivation could be very small, therefore the quantity in the supermarkets would be less and the prices would increase. Not to mention the fact that the cost of energy and other materials such as packaging, packaging materials and fertilizers also affect producers.


Oil and flour

Also different types of seed oil, like those of sunflower and peanut to give some examples, will be affected by the high prices.

Sunflower oil comes largely from Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, and as mentioned, imports from this country have been blocked.

Of course also the flour, which is mainly obtained from the grinding of cereals, will suffer a backlash.


Preserves, biscuits, condiments

Much of these products are processed using sunflower oil and if the latter will start to run out for the reasons mentioned, then other products could also be at risk of expensive prices and quantities available. We are talking about different types of biscuits, preserves, condiments, sauces, gravies and fries.


Meat, milk and eggs

By reducing the quantities of corn and soy, you also risk failing to feed livestock adequately. For example, in cattle farms, flour will be replaced with hay because corn costs too much.

All this could involve a reduction in milk productionand meat and eggs.

This possible scarcity, in addition to the other causes we have talked about, could lead to the increase in the prices of these products.


Fresh fish

In addition to the haulers' strike, there is also one strike by fishing boats which have been stopped for days in the ports of various Italian cities.

Fishermen are also protesting against the increase in fuel and do not find it convenient to go out to sea to fish. That's why it will be there shortage of fresh fish in supermarkets and fishmongers, with a consequent increase in prices.


Rising fuel prices

A major impact on rising food prices depends on the increase in fuel prices which in this period is reaching very high levels. Petrol, diesel and diesel are at record prices and only in the last week, with data from the Ministry of Economic Development, there has been an increase in84,28% compared to the previous survey of 28 February.

The three main causes of these increases are:

  • the price increase of Petroleum;
  • the effect of exchange rate between euro and dollar;
  • the incidence of excise duties and VAT.

The first two causes depend on the war in Ukraine, while the third does not and it is on this that the Government could intervene. The hauliers ask for the zeroing of VAT, while the gas stations ask that it be switched to movable excise duties applying law 244/07. We remind you that excise duties are those taxes that the State applies on the manufacture or sale of consumer products, just like gasoline, and which are paid right at the time of purchase because they are included in the price. Often the state has made use of it to cope with times of emergency.

With the aforementioned law, these taxes could be reduced and there would be an advantage for both gas stations and consumers. In fact, according to a report from the Energies for Mobility Union, it is precisely excise duties and VAT that make gasoline very expensive.

We must also say that Opec + had set oil production at 400 thousand shovels a day in March, causing a surge in the price given the increase in demand without Russian supplies.

Gas station

The need to become self-sufficient

We do not know how the war will continue and how long it will last, but as already mentioned some growers are thinking of converting their productions, therefore that of becoming even more self-sufficient could be a solution to limit these kinds of problems in the future.

With proper price scheduling, agreed through supply chain contracts, as Coldiretti advises, greater independence could be achieved in the production and sale of certain products, such as wheat.

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