Shoppers may soon have to be forced to pay up to 50% more for pasta as a coming shortage is tipped to cause prices to rocket.
A shortage of durum wheat, a key ingredient used to make the Italian cuisine, is threatening to cause a price surge
The dilemma is made even worse by national lorry shortages leaving some supermarket and shop shelves bare.
The price of durum wheat has almost doubled this summer after a drought and high temperatures in Canada, one of the pasta industry’s biggest suppliers.
And Italy, the home of pasta, is also experiencing supply problems.
Durum wheat is used to make kitchen cupboard staple products such as spaghetti, penne and macaroni.
In the pasta-making process durum wheat is ground into semolina to make the popular products.
It comes as shoppers are being faced with the sight of empty supermarket shelves in some areas as the food supply is already hit by lorry driver shortages being blamed on Brexit, Hull Live reports.
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The price hike in the UK may start as early next month, as high costs reach the factories. It comes on the back of other shortages in supermarkets caused by transport and logistic problems linked to Brexit.
Shop shelves have been photographed bare and pint-loving Brits have been warned the shortages could even strike the nation’s beloved pubs, as firms struggle to import beer barrels.
The lorry crisis has led desperate firms to dramatically increase wages and offer starter inventives in recent weeks in hopes of attracting new drivers to plug the gaps.
Some firms have been offering up to pay the £5,000 HGV training fees to lure new drivers into the trade.
Jason Bull, a director of Eurostar Commodities, told The Guardian of the coming pasta shortage: “The market is completely out of control and as a result there has been an approximately 90% increase in raw material prices as well as increases in freight.
“This is a dire situation hitting all semolina producers and all buyers of durum wheat across the globe. Companies are buying at record high prices.”
Elsewhere a chief food executive warned that shoppers will find ‘permanent food shortages’ in stores.
Ian Wright, outgoing chief executive of the Food and Drink Federation, warns that the supermarket supply issues will ‘only get worse’, as the market continues to change following the pandemic.
He added: “The UK shopper could have previously expected just about every product they want to be on shelf or in the restaurant all the time.
“That’s over and I don’t think it’s coming back.”
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