Many bakeries are threatened with closure due to high energy prices

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The sharp rise in prices for gas and electricity is putting increasing pressure on domestic bakeries. “Energy costs are up to ten times higher than last year. Many bakeries are thinking of closing down for good,” the guild master of the WKÖ Federal Association of Bakers, Josef Schrott, told APA. Many colleagues are desperate – tens of thousands of euros in additional costs can not be earned at a small bakery counter.

The bakery trade requires a lot of energy to operate baking ovens and dough coolers. The federal trade and crafts division said that for a small, regional bakery local supplier with “comparatively very favorable energy contracts,” costs have risen rapidly from 17,600 euros to 54,000 euros a year.

According to the WKÖ, gas prices have risen since the beginning of the year from 2.9 cents per kWh (gas) to 23 to 28 cents (depending on the contract) or 38.3 cents on the spot market. Electricity has increased in price from 5 cents to 20 to 70 cents (depending on supplier and contract) in the same period. The cost of grain and flour has also risen sharply in recent months. The price of wheat on the Euronext commodity futures exchange in Paris was most recently 330 euros per metric ton, up 32 percent from last year.

“Our businesses cannot simply pass on these exorbitant cost increases to their clientele,” Renate Scheichelbauer-Schuster, chairwoman of the Federal Department of Trade and Crafts at the WKÖ, told APA. “These burdens are not our fault and are unavoidable. The enterprises affected by the energy cost explosion would need “now a rapid relief and an energy cost subsidy.”

Due to the KV wage increases in October and sharply increased prices for energy, raw materials, and packaging materials, the representative of bakers in the Upper Austrian Chamber of Commerce, Reinhard Honeder, expects a price increase for baked goods of about ten percent.

Ten percent share for producers
In a reaction to the announced increase in bread prices in Upper Austria, the ÖVP farmers’ association stressed that “agriculture is not a cost driver” for bread. “The farmer’s share in a kilo of bread is a meager 35 cents or the equivalent of ten percent. In the previous year, it was only seven percent,” said Bauernbund President Georg Strasser.

For a roll, the farmer’s share in the previous year had been 1.9 cents or 5.75 percent; this year, it was 2.4 cents or 7.27 percent despite solid price increases for fertilizer, fuel and other inputs. “The cost driver is not agriculture,” Strasser emphasized.

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