Grain import prices surge to 11-year high in Germany: Destatis

Germany paid more than half as much for imported grain in March than a year ago as prices saw their sharpest rise since May 2011, according to fresh statistics from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) on Friday.

All types of grain were affected by the rising import prices, Destatis said. Prices of corn went up by 37.4 percent, while prices of wheat, barley, rye and oats even soared 65.3 percent.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict has had “impacts on global grain supply and grain prices,” Destatis noted. Although prices of imported grain had already increased before the conflict, prices have increased by double digits since January 2021.

Destatis also attributed the price hikes to “high global demand and tight supply due to bad weather conditions in important growth markets, such as the United States, Canada, Australia or South America, high fertilizer prices and rising transport and energy costs.”

Consumer prices are also starting to pick up in Germany. Bread and grain products were 8.7 percent more expensive in April than last year. Prices of flour and pasta rose particularly sharply, by 23.5 percent and 17.2 percent, respectively.

“I fear we have not yet reached the end of the line and will see a further rise in food prices as supply chains continue to be disrupted,” German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) President Marcel Fratzscher said on Thursday.

To ease the financial burden on German citizens, Agriculture Minister Cem Oezdemir supports a temporary suspension of the value-added tax (VAT) on staple foods. This measure has been demanded by social and consumer associations as well as experts. ■