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ECONOMY – The reference price. The baguette may see its price increase over the next few days and pass the symbolic milestone of one euro. This increase is multifactorial and illustrates a particularly complicated year for bakers.
The baguette is currently sold on average at 0.89 euros, but it could see a rise of 5 to 10 cents in the coming weeks. “All the lights are red”, warned on Franceinfo, this Monday, October 25, Dominique Anract, President of the National Confederation of French Bakery and Pastry (CNBPF). According to him, the price of the baguette should increase in many French bakeries, a question of “logic”: “Price of wheat, flour, energy, more wages, more packaging products. In terms of production costs, each baker is responsible for the prices he sets, but it would be logical for there to be an increase, ”he explains. Moreover, this is already the case in Sarthe, reports France Blue.
However, this increase should not equal 10 cents according to him, since “in 20 years the baguette took 23 cents. Compared to the price of a pack of cigarettes, which has tripled, it’s not the same song ”.
Soaring wheat prices
One of the main causes of this increase is the soaring price of wheat. In fact, in one year – from August 2020 to August 2021 – it has increased by 30% due to climate change. The latter weakens harvests and lowers world stocks. In August, the tonne of common wheat crossed the threshold of 250 euros, returning to its level of 2013, indicates The world.
According to the law of supply and demand, the price of flour, the main ingredient in bread, also increases. “Flour, which is the raw material, represents 20 to 25% of the price of the baguette”, said in August Raoul Maeder, an artisan baker, to LCI.
And this year has been particularly difficult for the harvests. In France, the wet summer reduced yields and in Russia the yield is catastrophic, notes The Parisian. Also, droughts or fires have impacted production around the world. “It’s unheard of”, commented Dominique Anract, on BFM Business.
According to the latter, another expense begins to weigh more heavily on the scale, that for paper packaging. These are almost out of stock and cost more than in 2020.
Soaring energy prices
But the poor wheat harvest is not the only cause. The increase in energy prices (gas and electricity) affects all French people, including bakers. Especially since the latter use gas or electric ovens, sometimes in operation throughout the day.
“The artisans have just discovered their energy bills for the month of September. The increase is significant, after a few invoices, many of them will end up passing this increase on to consumers ”, explains Dominique Anract toBFM Business.
The price of regulated electricity tariffs has already seen two increases this year: + 1.6% in February and + 0.5% in August. But the price of electricity could jump in February 2022. As explained Progress, this very strong increase can be explained by the increase in gas prices of + 300% in recent months and which will continue to increase in October and November.
Will we be able to observe a drop in the price of the baguette in the event of a return to normal? Nothing is less sure. According to the National Confederation of French Bakery and Pastry at BFM Business, it will be “difficult to turn back the clock, even when wheat prices fall. Wages have increased, this rise in the price of bread will hardly compensate ”.
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