The market is fretting over new price hikes in bread and a series of other food categories that have flour as their main ingredient due to the soaring of global rates, which have reached record levels.
Cereal loads have now stopped coming from Russia and Ukraine, two of the biggest soft wheat suppliers in Europe, and it remains impossible to predict how the crisis will evolve and for how long hostilities will last – uncertainty which feeds the price hikes further.
Until recently, wheat rates were already 80% higher than in 2020, mainly due to the increase in energy costs, leading to a rise in the retail price of bread by 8-10%.
“The monthly electricity bill for a small bakery now comes to 3,000 euros, compared with €1,000 before,” says Michalis Mousios, the president of the bakers’ association. He also tells Kathimerini that despite the new hikes in wheat rates, the sector has no margin left for any major increases in the retail price of bread: “Consumption has already gone down over the last couple of months,” he reports.
Through the imposition of a profit margin ceiling on various products, the government is hoping to contain retail price hikes in commodities such as food and fuel, using September 2021 prices as a reference point.