Ships loaded with foreign wheat, a coming and going of trucks from the port of Manfredonia, the price of organic hard food collapsing, while the prices of the ‘fino’, the good merchant and the hard mercantile remain nailed down.
“It appears evident that in the vicinity of the threshing, and therefore of the placing on the market of the new product, the speculative maneuvers of grain traders have been activated through the massive recovery of imports from abroad”, commented Michele Ferrandino, president of CIA Capitanata, bitterly.
The problem concerns the whole of Puglia, and is highlighted by the list of cereal prices of Altamura, Bari and Foggia. In the capital Dauno, compared to the values of February 17, 2021, durum wheat lost a total of 10 euros per ton of value: on May 26, fino was quoted at 290-295 euros per ton.
Things are no better in Bari, where in recent weeks the leading cereal of Apulian agriculture has lost 8 euros on the minimum and 10 on the maximum compared to the best price reached last summer, reaching the current share of 288-291 euros per ton. Same price also in Altamura. “Also in this case”, declared Felice Ardito, president of CIA Levante, “We are well below 300 euros per ton, a level that would still be low”.
“There is a central issue in Italian agriculture”, added Raffaele Carrabba, president of CIA Puglia, “And it is that of the imbalance between the price granted to producers, always below a level that guarantees the right profitability to farms, and the growing profits of the subsequent links of the supply chains, namely traders, processing industries, large-scale retail trade . The problem, in fact, does not concern only wheat but all productions. In recent days we have highlighted the perverse mechanism that leads our cherries to be sold up to 16 euros per kilo in supermarkets in the North, while producers are paid 10 times less for those same cherries ”.
Returning to the cereal sector, the CIA Italian Farmers of Puglia denounced what is happening for organic durum wheat, with imports increased by 30% in the last two years and the collapse of the value recognized to producers.
Puglia produces more than 25% of Italian durum wheat. In 2020, altogether the Apulian provinces produced 9.5 million quintals of the precious cereal, 35% of the national production, using an area equal to 344,300 hectares. Alone, the province of Foggia in 2020 managed to produce 7,125,000 quintals on an area of 240,000 hectares, with an average yield per hectare of 29.68 quintals.
“The market is free and globalized, however, it is necessary to protect the future of a strategic supply chain that is too often penalized by massive imports from abroad, with foreign durum wheat which, for a series of very concrete reasons, presents several unknowns from the point of view of quality and healthiness. To limit the temptation of speculative maneuvers “, explained Raffaele Carrabba, president of CIA Italian Farmers of Puglia, “The possibility of temporarily suspending imports at certain times of the year should be carefully evaluated”.