Dear prices, Maccari: “The situation is deteriorating”

Dear prices, Maccari: “The situation is deteriorating”
Dear prices, Maccari: “The situation is deteriorating”
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01/09/2022 – The expensive energy is causing effects that affect both businesses and families. The unstoppable rush in the prices of energy raw materials and inflation which now tends to exceed 8% largely determined by the tensions on raw materials caused by the war in Ukraine, are affecting the balance sheets of companies with an increase in the account. energy that becomes more and more unsustainable. This emergency situation is compressing the already low operating margins of many companies, previously weakened by the recession experienced in the first two phases of the pandemic and now with the risk of leading to the slowdown, if not the closure, of many activities with potentially serious consequences. social as well as economic-financial.

“Unfortunately, there is one sector that first entered a negative and now recessive spiral before the others, and that is the agri-food sector”. This is said by Federico Maccari, vice president of Confindustria Macerata and President of the Agri-food Section.

“Just in these days, one year has elapsed since the start of the darkest post-war period in this sector – he remembers – which began with the surge in the price of durum wheat harvested in 2021, due to an underproduction determined by unfavorable climatic factors in Canada. and the United States and such as to heavily influence the price of durum wheat produced in Italy, and continued with the increase in the price of fuels, which caused the production costs of packaging and those for logistics and transport to soar, culminating then now with the unsustainable energy costs resulting from speculative drifts on the part of gas producers and exporters ».

Yet the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, despite its drama, should not have had such harmful effects on the European, Italian and Marche economic system, at least in the agri-food sector. Import from those countries involves few products. Russia and Ukraine produce 12% of the calories exchanged in the world: 75% of sunflower oil, 29% of barley, 28% of soft wheat, 15% of corn but it could have been absorbed by finding those products on other markets were it not for the fact that some giants like China had not stopped the export of some of those same products in a protectionist way. “In summary – explains Maccari – in a situation of” controlled crisis “, what is happening for the export of our products should also have happened for imports, identifying new markets, alternatives to those under embargo, and instead the situation is it is further complicated and is now degenerating ».

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In fact, the data show a completely different scenario and a structural shock on the market. The economic situation has led to a generalized increase in consumer prices because demand has remained high but supply has collapsed. Compared to 2021, there is an average increase in the price of foodstuffs of 9.4%, with more considerable increases in edible oils from seeds (+ 70.2%), butter (+ 22.6%) and pasta (+16, 6%) yet the production costs have been passed on only minimally to consumers also due to the resistance of the large-scale retail trade to review the price lists.

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“The increases have remained in the hands of the manufacturing companies that are facing a crossroads: to bear the burden of energy costs (and not only) that are now out of control and hoping for a serious, timely and effective intervention by national and EU institutions such as an indispensable activity to safeguard the continuity of the company’s operational activity, or suspend production leaving the orders in the backlog unfulfilled as some have already begun to do but whose ranks are swelling every week with consequences on employment, purchasing power, the entire economic system and therefore on the public accounts that cause fear for the stability of the entire country system. The energy consumption of agricultural and food production in Italy amounted to a total of 13.3 million tons of oil equivalent per year, equal to over 11% of the total industrial energy consumption of our country. The food sector requires large amounts of energy for the processes of production, transformation, conservation, operation of the machines and air conditioning of the production and work environments and for this reason, given the consumption numbers, it is easy to understand how much the increases affect the management of companies. and therefore on the final costs of the products, which if not passed on to prices inevitably lead to heavy economic and financial losses. We cannot therefore wait for the establishment of a new government, if energy costs continue on these values ​​and trends and therefore if we do not find a direct and substantial cost reduction intervention by national or European institutions, the risk is compromise one of the most important and strategic sectors for our country, for the made in Italy, our agri-food chain, which the whole world envies us! “

The article is in Italian

Tags: Dear prices Maccari situation deteriorating

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