This is in from ANSA:
Pasta 30% up but wheat 25% down
‘No alibi’ for not lowering pasta prices, farmers say
(ANSA) – Rome, August 20 – This year’s extraordinary rise in pasta prices has been even higher than previously thought, the Italian Treasury said Wednesday.
But the price of wheat, which is used to make pasta, has dropped almost as sharply, a top farming association said. Pasta prices have risen some 30% in the first half of the year, the ministry said, touching up the 25% figure issued by national statistics institute ISTAT last month.
The only rise steeper than pasta’s was diesel, driven by rocketing oil prices.
Diesel fuel showed a 31.9% rise in the first six months of 2008, compared to pasta’s 30.4% hike.
Pasta was well ahead of petrol, which rose 24.5%. Bread was up 13.2% and milk 11.8%.
But the price of durum wheat has fallen some 25% in the first half of 2008, farming association Confagricoltura said.
Another farming association, Coldiretti, said the rise in price from farm to consumer was a whopping 369%.
There was ”no alibi” for not dropping the prices of pasta and other staples like bread and milk, which also showed huge increases, it said.
Coldiretti blamed ”distortions and too many steps from the farm to the table” for the massive discrepancies.
Milk was 241% dearer in shops than it was at the farm, while bread was an astonishing 1,325% dearer.