Wheat prices hit highs this week. Here's why you may pay more for your favorite sweet treat
Small business owners are watching the markets closely this week as the price of wheat earlier this week hit levels not seen in 14 years.
“Within the next week, flour prices will be going up drastically,” says Joe Caputo, with Caputo's Bakery.
Since 1960, the family-run Caputo's Bakery has operated in Long Branch, offering staples like Kaiser rolls and soda bread - all made with high-end flour.
“St Patrick’s Day is a lot of bread, rye, Irish soda bread - all flour,” says Caputo. “Next week is perfect timing, the perfect storm.”
A combination of factors - inflation, rising fuel prices, supply shortages, backlogs and the Ukraine invasion -led to soaring costs for Caputo and other bakers. His delivery purchase went up 40% in just one week.
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“Certain size bags, boxes, cream cheese, graham cracker crumb was an issue,” says Caputo. “There's a fuel charge on every delivery too.”
But like most small business owners, Caputo says his customers remain loyal, even if it means paying more for a homemade treat.
“We are the fabric of this country,” says Caputo. “My grandfather came here in the '20s to open a bakery and that's what made this country what it is."
Russia and Ukraine make up about one-third of the world's wheat exports. The price of wheat is around 70% higher than it was one month ago.