‘People are breaking agreements’: Rice prices are boiling in new areas in the UK Inflation

T.The 20-kg bags of rice, placed on rooftop shelving units, look like any other, but are the first to arrive at the West Yorkshire Depot from Vietnam because food prices have forced companies to look for cheaper ingredients.

Jason Bill, one of the directors at Eurostar Commodities, which imports rice and flour for restaurant chains, supermarket suppliers and caterers, says the Bragg-based company faces its biggest challenge in almost 30 years. Face to face

“Bridget, the Cove, the crisis of life, and the war in Ukraine are all affecting the supply chain in various ways, and are causing food insecurity,” says Bill.

“People are breaking contracts and saying the price has just gone up; if you want it, you have to pay more. This is the hardest, most tumultuous period in the history of our business. Is.

The price of rice

UK inflation is now at 9.1 per cent, with fuel and food prices rising, Bull said, adding that pressure is still mounting on the family-run company, which means more suffering for households. ۔ Often, the reason for rising prices for consumers is that the business faces rising costs.

“Fuel is still rising, our costs are rising, and shipping rates are rising again, so we’re not out of the woods yet,” says Bill. “We are going to see more inflation; I think it will probably reach 12 or 13 percent.

The company is paying its customers more with the extra time involved in the Bridget paperwork, another management hassle. “We work on tight margins and large volumes,” says Bill, adding that “making sure the food supply chain is in place and getting it on time and at the right price has never been harder.”

Along with rice, pasta and bread, it was one of the budget foods that, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics, has risen in price much faster than normal inflation, the cheapest rice ever. The price of the option is now 15% higher than a year ago.

According to NielsenIQ Scantrack, supermarket buyers spend about £ 220m per year on rice, which is 0.8% higher per kg in the last three months than in 2021. The caption image shows large prices up and down for different types. Basmati, which makes up 60 percent of the market, has risen 3.7 percent, and risotto rice is growing at the same rate. The price of brown rice has risen by more than 13% while the price of Thai has fallen by more than 10%.

Eurostar Commodities usually buys small grain rice, which is used to make sushi sold in supermarkets, from Italy, Europe’s largest producer. However, the price per tonne is now “crazy”, the bill said, adding that severe drought has damaged crops.

It was able to buy rice on a 12-month contract but its longest contract is now less than two months. “You may be able to buy Italian rice this year, but the price is going to skyrocket. Millers says he has never seen such a market in 40-50 years.”

Difficulties in the supply of long green rice from Europe mean that Eurostar Commodities has turned to US imports. Photo: Christopher Thamand / The Guardian

Last spring, Italian white rice reached the milestone of $ 1,000 (£ 817) per tonne, but it did not stop there. Seasonal issues, coupled with high input costs such as fertilizer, pushed the price up to $ 2,000 last month. According to Mintec, Vietnam’s white rice fell by about a fifth to about ڈالر 400 a tonne during the same period.

Bell has just returned from Vietnam, the world’s fifth-largest rice producer, where he visited some of the farms and mills of UK-approved suppliers he now uses. “Rice is going to be very low in Europe and this will increase the demand for supply in the Far East,” he says. “Vietnam only grows a certain amount of EU standard rice, so if you are not doing contract farming and booking, it will not be there.”

Long grain rice is also a problem. The company usually sources from Spain, but farmers there are also suffering from drought and extreme temperatures. In the fall, he predicted that he would not have rice for export, a theory that explains the large white sacks adorned with piles of stars and stripes on the warehouse floor. The bill says that although it came entirely from the United States, it is still cheap.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s monthly index, which tracks fluctuations in commonly traded food items, saw an increase in international rice prices for the fifth consecutive month in May.

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Zina Alexisahina, a market analyst at data firm Mintec, says global rice production is very high, with a record harvest of 514.6 million tonnes, but higher prices for wheat and corn mean that it is better for livestock. In demand as a food substitute.

Eurostar Commodities specializes in flour as well as imported ingredients such as canned tomato and pasta sauces that end up in ready meals and restaurant dishes. The prices of these products are also rising, the price of wheat flour is 50% higher than before the war.

The effect is visible on supermarket shelves where, according to Nelson IQ Scan Track data, the price per kg of plain and self-propelled flour has risen by 9.6% and 7.4%, respectively.

“We have to see what’s new. [wheat] The harvest brings, “says Bell.” Much depends on which countries are going to export, but if there is no drastic change; prices will remain stable. “

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