Stock up on your spaghetti—the shrinking durum wheat crop could mean a pasta price hike!
While this year's global wheat harvest may be the largest ever, the harvest for the durum wheat crop, which is used to make pasta, is the smallest it's ever been in 13 years, reports The New York Times. According to the International Grains Council, the global durum crop is down 12 percent compared to a year ago. That means pasta makers are facing the highest cost in four years, and those higher prices will likely be passed on to consumers.
"The risk is that we can expect additional price increases (of durum wheat)," Luciano Vagli, export manager of Italian pasta maker Buitoni, told Reuters. "If that were to happen, we would be forced - not only Buitoni, but all the industry - to reflect (the cost increase) on the price list."
Americans eat 19.4 pounds of pasta per year, reports The New York Times. That's far less than the Italians, who consume about 55.8 pounds of pasta per year and are likely the hardest to be hit by the price hike.
Canada is the world's top producer of durum wheat, and this year's harvest shrank 27 percent, reports The Star. Pasta is a staple for families with young children, and The Star reports that prices for popular Kraft Dinner boxed macaroni and cheese range from $1.45 to $2.99 at Toronto grocery stores this week. In America, an online search showed prices around $1.79.
"The situation is really volatile," described Luciano Vagli.
Check out the video above to learn more about the pasta price hike. Then, check out the slideshow below to discover 8 pasta dishes you'll want to eat right now before the price increase!