Inflation: Will the rise in food prices accelerate in the coming weeks?

“And Montélimar, is it south of where? A shopkeeper, apron around his waist, in front of his nougat stall, asks mockingly. “In the south of France,” the couple answers in front of him, with a smile on their face. They thus won the right to taste a few grams of gluttony on Tuesday morning, on the forecourt of Place Saint-Michel, in Paris. Here, the “made in France” Christmas market is set up until the end of the month.

On the menu, jewelry and artisan creations, but also local products such as nougats from Montélimar or sausages from Franche-Comté. Are they also affected by the inflation of commodities such as wheat or flour? According to the IRI institute , the prices of these commodities have respectively increased by 43% in year and 3, 58% in October. “We felt a slight increase of approximately 08% on the manufacturing costs of our nougats, because flour is more expensive, agrees one of the managers of the stand. But for the moment, it’s okay, we’re not making customers pay for it yet. We endure the price increase quietly before, perhaps, passing it on. »

Inflation still low (for the moment)

Nothing alarming, therefore. Except that it might not last and end up adding to the shopping basket bill. Michel-Edouard Leclerc, the CEO of the eponymous group, himself sounded the alarm last week on the set of BFMTV . According to him, food prices will skyrocket from next April, right during the presidential election . A month earlier, he had tweeted his concern: “Pasta, oils, coffee, chocolate: in my opinion, we are moving quickly towards monthly inflation at 4%. »

A feeling shared by Stéphane Radet, the general manager of the National Union of the Animal Nutrition Industry (SNIA). “We are seeing in the markets a very significant increase in all compound feeds that are used for farm animals,” he regrets. However, “there is a buffer effect for each actor in the chain. Inflation in production costs is not always found on the consumer’s plate. We are only talking about an increase of a few cents on arrival… ”. For example, turkey shouldn’t see a dramatic increase for New Years Eve dinner. “Their breeding started several months ago”, explains Stéphane Radet, that is to say before the skyrocketing production costs.

The mass distribution and the food industry are currently under discussion. Negotiations that will end on March 1 and set prices for the following months. Contacted by 20 Minutes , none of the participants in this discussion wanted to speak. But until then, intermediaries are worried. “In the summer 2020, we had an index of 100 indexed on July prices 143, continues Stéphane Radet. So there was no difference. This year, we are at 100. An increase of 20 points in the prices of raw materials is quite considerable. “According to him, certain sectors such as poultry are in the red and are selling” at a loss. ”

A lasting rise in prices due to global warming?

At the origin of this inflation, we find the recovery of world activity. “The sudden recovery in maritime transport has led to a shortage of boats and an increase in costs,” explains economist Alain Trannoy, teacher-researcher at the Aix-Marseille school of economics. It is more expensive to transport food on the sea, but also in the air and also on the road. Especially since “the cost of transport is indexed to the price of oil, which is also on the rise”, he emphasizes.

Without forgetting the bad weather. “Bad harvests will certainly increase in the next thirty years because of global warming, and we can certainly expect sustainable inflation in food”, predicts Alain Trannoy. A qualified opinion by Stéphane Radet. “The climate has an impact, for sure, but we are fortunate in France and in Europe to have livestock which contributes greatly to our food sovereignty. ”