UK Anticipates Food Prices Hike As Low Yields Hit

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News in brief: Unfavourable weather conditions in the UK have led to low crop yields, prompting warnings of higher food prices. The situation is exacerbated by rising global food prices, resulting in the likelihood of double-digit food inflation in the UK until 2024.

Farmers in the UK have warned about impending higher prices for certain crops because of low yield caused by unfavourable weather conditions.

Parts of the UK recorded the wettest July on record in the past month. According to the news report, experts say that the situation could encourage further rise in food inflation.

The cool, wet summer negatively impacted crops like wheat, oilseed rape, potatoes, and a few others. Many crops are being harvested two weeks later than usual because they were either planted late or the farms were waterlogged.

It has also affected the quality of crops, with oilseed rape pods being over-ripe or storm-battered and shattering and losing their seed as a result. Meanwhile, barley heads are breaking off and potatoes are rotting or attracting blight.

Farmers have expressed disappointment over harvests, claiming less than a fifth of expected outcomes.

In addition, the costs of drying damp crops after harvest, to aid safe storage, are climbing. Farmers are having to spend as much as 7% of their cost of production on drying crops, which is eating deeper into already tight profit margins.

Fertiliser prices have also climbed higher to €692 a ton, compared with €190 a ton last year further deepening worries. Thus, forcing some to use less quantity on their farms.

Rising prices of essential ingredients on global markets, caused by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the unpredictable weather affecting harvests from southern Europe to China, compound the effect on food prices.

For example, global wheat prices went up by 1.6% in the month of July and rice prices skyrocketed within same period by 2.8%. India’s decision to ban non-basmati rice exports was a major factor for the jump in the latter.

The Bank of England had warned that UK households would struggle with double digit food inflation into 2024, as food processers combat expensive energy contracts. Food inflation in the UK was at 17% in June 2023 and experts say it is unlikely to fall below 10% or 9% by year end.

Joseph Akahome
Joseph Akahome
Joseph O Akahome (OJ) is a writer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. He is an avid agriculturist, with a bias for poultry and an insatiable appetite for chicken wings. When he is neither reading nor researching, he likes to spend recreational time playing board games, or swimming in serene forested lakes.


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