homeagriculture NewsRussia Ukraine war impact: Parle expects wheat price to rise
agriculture | Feb 25, 2022 2:34 PM IST

Russia-Ukraine war impact: Parle expects wheat price to rise

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With Russia and Ukraine accounting for about a quarter of the world's wheat export, Parle Products is expecting a rise in the price of the grain given the geopolitical tensions between the two nations.

Parle Products on Friday said it expects a rise in the price of wheat as Russia and Ukraine are large producers and exporters of grains. Any disruptions in supply due to the geopolitical tensions between the two nations may lead to pushing up prices.

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“Palm oil price yesterday (February 24) was at about Rs 140 per kg and that’s putting pressure on the bottomline of most food companies who use palm oil. So, not just oil, even wheat because Ukraine and Russia also happen to be major exporters of wheat. So both the prime raw material commodities which go into food,” Mayank Shah, senior category head, Parle Products, told CNBC-TV18 in an interview.
His remark comes as Russia has attacked Ukraine, which is one of the world's largest exporters of grains - wheat, corn, and barley, whereas Russia itself is the largest wheat exporter, accounting for more than 18 percent of international exports. More than a quarter of the world's wheat export comes from Russia and Ukraine. So far this week, international wheat is already costlier by over 15 percent.
Shah added the company has taken already taken a price hike of 6 to 7 percent this year. He explained that palm oil prices are at a record high which is hurting input costs.
“While we have taken 6-7 percent price hike, I do not think for most companies there is any further room of absorbing the increase in raw material cost because whatever cushion they had in terms of margins, where they can absorb the increased prices of raw material – that’s already done, but beyond this point, it would be difficult for most companies to do that. So, if this situation continues then you will see further price hikes,” he said.
Even as Parle Products’ top official cited concerns about over supply and price hikes, he said the company is covered on the inventory front for the next two to three months.
“Although we are comfortable on the stocks that we have in India, there would be demand coming in from overseas market for wheat because Russia and Ukraine supply would get affected. As a result of which we will probably, going forward, see an increase in wheat flour prices or wheat prices as well,” he said.
Earlier in November, Parle had said the price hike was on account of the tremendous input cost pressures as the price of key raw material palm oil prices had doubled on a year-on-year (YoY) basis. Packaging and laminate costs have also been up between 20 and 35 percent, it had said, adding that it was seeing a slight shortage of material on the packaging front. Freight costs also climbed on account of fuel prices rising by about 25 to 30 percent, the fast-moving consumer goods company said in November.
Meanwhile, the demand for Parle products has begun to increase in the rural market, Shah said. “Rural demand has started seeing an uptick and we are hopeful about that,” he told CNBC-TV18.
For the entire interview, watch the accompanying video
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