Pasta shortages at UK supermarkets caused by international lack of durum wheat

A number of supermarkets across the country, including Tesco and Sainsburys, are dealing with pasta shortages. 

The supply issues are down to a shortage of durum wheat, caused by droughts and soaring temperatures at the Canadian farms that produce it. 

As a result of these climate conditions, the price of durum wheat increased by 90 per cent. 

The vital ingredient is made into semolina to produce macaroni, spaghetti and penne.

READ MORE:  Food shortages are good news, says Tory MP

The ongoing shortage of HGV drivers is also thought to be making the supply problems worse.

“We should be under no illusion climate change is causing this. It’s crazy. I’ve been doing this for 17 years, but I’ve not seen this before,” director of Eurostar Commodities Jason Bell told The Mirror.

“It’s because of the durum crop – pasta is made with durum wheat and the biggest exporter is Canada. 

“They’ve had a very bad crop due to extreme dry weather – it’s hardly rained since they planted the crop so they’re down about 42 per cent. It had a big drop and then the USA is down nearly 50 per cent.

“Couple that with the opposite effect – in Europe and France they’ve had excessive rain, so the wheat crop isn’t suitable for milling. So, it’s a bad situation on both sides of the Atlantic.”

The news comes as some of the UK’s biggest supermarkets have urged customers not to panic buy in response to reports of emptying shelves, saying they are “continuing to receive regular deliveries”.

They said any gaps on the shelves were temporary as they awaited deliveries, and were occurring in pockets rather than across supply chains.

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