CapX, May 24 2022, Catherine McBride
With the Governor of the Bank of England warning about ‘apocalyptic’ food prices, the Government might want to look at the tariffs and quotas that are increasing the price of our imported food.
The UK imports on average about 1.8 million tonnes of wheat a year. The UK’s own wheat yields are usually weather-dependent, but this year the high cost of fertiliser will also play a part.
Canada is our largest wheat supplier, sending us 425,000 tonnes a year on average, but they were able to increase that to 532,000 tonnes last year when our own yields were low. After Canada, our next largest suppliers are Germany (277,000 tonnes), Denmark (270,000) France (238,000) and Romania (122,000).
For all the press about the disastrous effects on food prices of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we import relatively little from either country – 40,000 tonnes from Ukraine and 34,000 from Russia. Shortages resulting from the war are already pushing up international prices, but should not have a big impact on our own imports.
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