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France is experiencing a butter shortage as a result of a dramatic surge in prices – and due to ‘people hoarding butter’.
The growing global demand and falling supplies have increased butter prices, with producers chasing better markets since French retailers are not willing to pay more.
According to a new report by market research firm Nielsen, 30 percent of butter demand in French supermarkets wasn’t met between October 16 and October 12 – the cause being partially linked to people hoarding butter.
Global butter prices have almost tripled to 7,000 euros a ton from 2,500 euros in 2016, according to French farming consultancy Agritel.
“The issue is purely French and is related to the fact that there’s a price war raging between French retailers,” Thierry Roquefeuil, chairman of the milk-producers’ federation FNPL, told media outlet Bloomberg.
“French retailers refuse to increase prices, even by few cents, even for butter. Dairy producers see that there’s an outside demand at higher prices so they sell abroad, and rightfully so.”
Xavier Hollandtsni, a Kedge Business School strategy teacher and an expert on agricultural issues added: “The butter shortage in French supermarkets is the direct consequence of the 2016 milk crisis which prompted a three percent drop in production.”
The butter shortage has seen panicked consumers rushing to supermarkets to stock up on the dairy product.
Agriculture Minister Stephane Travert reassured citizens: “I want to reassure all the consumers that soon butter will find its way back to shop shelves and consumers won’t be deprived of this French commodity that does honor to French tables and is the pride of French dairy production,” he said in the National Assembly on Wednesday.