Italy Braces for Pasta Inflation Amid Soaring Durum Wheat Prices

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Italians may soon reckon with higher pasta prices amid a fall in durum wheat production.

“Our family has been in this business for 110 years, but we have never experienced a situation like this”, Giuseppe Ferro, chief executive officer of La Molisana SpA, one of the country’s biggest pasta producers, said in an interview with Il Sole 24 Ore on Friday.

Italy Braces for Pasta Inflation Amid Soaring Durum Wheat Prices

According to Ferro, big pasta producers are already rushing to stock grain, which can be stored for up to two years. Still, he says, wheat semolina, which is essential for pasta making, cannot last longer than a month. 

The shortage is already having an impact on production costs and will lead to retail price increases before Christmas, Ferro added. Durum wheat is used to make pasta.

Drought and heat continued to hurt the wheat harvest in July in Canada, the world’s biggest supplier of durum wheat, months after a harsh winter hit the Russian crop. Grain shipments from Western Canadian port terminal elevators tumbled 41% in the third week of August from a year-ago, according to a Quorum Corp. report. 

European crop quality was also hurt by heavy rains over the summer.

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