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Shoppers Warned Food Prices Will Soar By Up To 50 Percent

Jake Massey

Published 
| Last updated 

Shoppers Warned Food Prices Will Soar By Up To 50 Percent

The price of basic foods in the UK could rise by up to 50 percent due to the war in Ukraine, experts have warned.

Together, Russia and Ukraine supply nearly a third of the world's wheat exports, but the wholesale cost has surged by almost 50 percent over the last fortnight due to the conflict.

Subsequently, foods such as bread, pasta and potatoes could increase by between 10 and 50 percent.

The price of a pint is also expected to rise by 15 percent - taking it from the current average of £4.07 to £4.68.

Eurostar Commodities director Jason Bull told The Times: "We are in unprecedented times. We've had Brexit, Covid, global warming and now a war.

"Suppliers are cancelling contracts with immediate effect and putting in big increases. Freight costs are going up while stock is at sea.

The cost of basic foods could be set to soar. Credit: Alamy
The cost of basic foods could be set to soar. Credit: Alamy

"We have real worries about food price inflation and food insecurity. The situation was not good before the war and now it's worse."

Indeed, the cost of living was a major concern prior to the war, with energy prices set to increase next month.

The spike in petrol prices brought about by the war is also having a knock-on effect on food prices.

The price of petrol has just hit a new record high, rising to above £1.60 a litre on average for the first time.

Russia is one of the world's largest oil exporters, but some Western countries have decided to halt imports from the nation amid the Ukraine invasion, resulting in increased demand and increased prices.

The price hike means companies are having to increase sale prices to remain viable, or pull out of contracts altogether.

The price of fuel is having a knock-on effect. Credit: Alamy
The price of fuel is having a knock-on effect. Credit: Alamy

Minette Batters, president of the National Farmers Union (NFU), told Radio 4: "I think the impact has been felt most harshly in the protected crop sector, that's aubergines, peppers, cucumbers.

"We are already seeing massive contractions, because these businesses – really 50 percent of those costs – are reliant on the price of gas so if you take the normal price, the average for a therm of gas, at 60p, a grower I spoke to yesterday said it's now 600, I mean these costs are just impossible to grow.

"We are seeing massive contraction, they were talking about 80 million cucumbers to 35, 100 million peppers to 50. The only thing is to keep these glass houses empty. This situation isn't going away soon."

She continued: "We have lived with a very savage retail price war for some time now. We are looking at the cost of a chicken 50 percent higher than it was last year.

"We have really got to look at the gas requirements for the whole industry. We're asking that government do that as a matter of extreme urgency, and that they pull together a marketing core group that will monitor this situation with industry experts so we can plan, prepare and prioritise and then look at where potentially we would want to intervene otherwise we are going to see less British production.

"We are seeing wheat prices going to places we have never seen before. Ukraine and Russia are massive exporters of wheat. Of course its going to drive massive inflation.

"We have to act to make sure consumers have affordable food and we don't contract production."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: UK News, Food And Drink

Jake Massey
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