Un grain of wheat in the machine… and the engine of inflation heats up. The French were already able to see when they visited their baker this fall, an increase of 5 to 10 cents in the price of the traditional baguette. Those who are most attentive will also have noticed that their chicken thigh or breast costs 9% more than at the end of 2020. But the movement does not seem to stop there.
The Sarthois industrialist LDC, French leader in poultry, climbs on its lugs. Supporting graphs and calculator in hand, he does his accounts. Denis Lambert, its CEO, is pleased to have obtained from major retailers three price increases of 3% each, ginned during the first half of 2021. But he is ready to put the cover back in 2022. “We want to obtain a new revaluation of 9% to continue paying the fair price to producers”, says Lambert.
The chicken doesn’t want to be plucked. As commercial negotiations begin with distribution, LDC advances its arguments. The increase in grains weighs the heaviest in the balance. The poultry eagerly munch on wheat, corn and soybeans, an increasingly expensive pittance. It is enough to examine the curve of the wheat listed on the European market place Euronext to be convinced of it. In two years, it has grown by almost 57%.
The variant throws a chill
The ascending course of this cereal has negotiated a turn on the wing from July. Just before the harvesters started up, when the fields were turning golden, the price of wheat was wavering around 200 euros per tonne. Since then he has climbed irresistibly, and on November 22 broke a historical record, “Above the 300 euros mark »The ton, notes Arthur Portier, of the Agritel cabinet.
The golden grain on the slice gives a smile to French cereal growers. Especially since it has dragged corn in its speculative wake. Real popcorn, this one jumped the bar of 250 euros per tonne on Euronext. Only soybean meal saw its price slide somewhat, after a surge in January.
The meat industry looks gloomy, forced to go to the cash register to fill the troughs with animals. LDC further adds to these increases the heat stroke on the price of gas, packaging or transport. Result, the company figures at 9% its new demand for revaluation to continue to make wheat with its chickens.
However, the discovery in South Africa of a new variant of SARS-CoV-2, qualified “Worrying”, threw a cold on the financial markets on Friday, November 26. Investors shudder when imagining an economic shock linked to a rebound in the Covid-19 pandemic. Thus, the price of wheat fell below the price of 300 euros per tonne on Euronext. But, for now, the hens are still pecking for gold.