The average price of the baguette could quickly exceed the one euro mark

In a Parisian bakery, March 6, 2020.

“The baguette is an everyday product. We are therefore always embarrassed to increase it, even if it is justified”, confides Dominique Anract, president of the National Confederation of French Bakery-Pastry. Since the beginning of the year, the golden grain has recorded an increase of more than 70%, due in particular to the invasion of Ukraine launched by Russia. However, the two territories are respectively fourth and first world exporters of wheat. The ports of the Black Sea have been paralyzed since February 24, many stocks have remained blocked there. This automatically led to a surge in this market and therefore in flour, an essential ingredient in bread.

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“The ton of wheat rose to 460 euros this month. In September, when it reached 280 euros, it was already unprecedented “, reminds Dominique Anract. This situation pushes Dominique Eury, a baker in the 17and district of Paris, to think about an increase in its prices. In 2021, the baguette sold for an average of 90 cents in France, but the one euro mark could be exceeded. “In the medium term, we won’t have a choice, it will be between five and ten cents per product”he says.

“The price of butter is untenable”

For the moment, Dominique Eury has not made any decision, pending the invoice from his miller. He is in discussion with the latter for a repercussion “in stages” to maintain prices for its customers. For her part, Monique Imbert, president of the Departmental Union of Master Craftsmen Bakers and Bakers-Pastrycooks of the Bouches-du-Rhône, is reassured: “Our local millers maintain their prices”, she assures. For the moment.

Even if the flour ultimately represents only between 13% and 15% of the final cost of a baguette, it is a significant increase in this context of general inflation. On March 31, the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (Insee) estimated that inflation in France reached 4.5% over one year. “We have an increase in everything, wheat is at an excessive price and that of butter is unsustainable, it has taken two euros per kilo”emphasizes Dominique Eury.

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Essential for pastries and pastries, this product has also not escaped inflation. The National Interprofessional Center for Dairy Economics indicated a 69% increase over one year in mid-January. Added to this is the increase in electricity bills, for the ovens, and that of fuel, in the context of their deliveries for some. In January 2022, INSEE specified that energy had recorded an increase of 19.9% ​​over one year, including 24.3% for petroleum products.

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