Italy is experiencing a crisis of soaring prices for pasta, one of the country’s most popular and culturally important foods.
The Italian government held talks about the crisis to investigate the reasons for the price hike.
Adolfo Orso, the country’s enterprise minister, led a panel of lawmakers, pasta producers and consumer rights groups in Rome to discuss what could be done to bring pasta prices down.
Pasta prices jumped 17.5% in March compared to the same month in 2022. Prices fell slightly in April but are still up 16.5% in 12 months, according to the Italian newspaper Lego.
This rise was more than double Italy’s broader rate of consumer price inflation. Pasta prices have risen even though the price of wheat – the main ingredient – has fallen in recent months.
In the aftermath of the emergency talks, the committee said pasta prices were “already showing the first indications, albeit weak, of … [انخفاض]indicating that the cost of pasta will drop significantly in the coming months.
It said it would continue to monitor the market closely to protect consumers, and to ensure that significant reductions in the cost of energy and raw materials, such as durum wheat, are reflected in the retail price of pasta.
And last Wednesday, a spokesman for Orso said in a statement that many producers had already provided assurances that the increases in pasta prices were only temporary, and attributed the price hike “to the disposal of stocks.” [المعكرونة] manufactured when the cost of raw materials was higher.
Last month, Furio Trozzi, president of the Associated Consumer Rights Association, said in a statement that the average Italian consumes about 23 kilograms (51 pounds) of pasta each year.
“Pasta is one of the Italians’ favorite foods,” Trozzi noted. But he said that against the background of the war in Ukraine, “a tsunami was unleashed by the price hikes last year for some raw materials for making noodles.”
“It looks different today,” Trozzi added, noting that some input costs have fallen.
Coldiretti, Italy’s largest farmers’ union, said those higher retail prices did not translate into higher returns for durum wheat farmers, who were struggling to cover their own costs.