The comfort steaming off a plate of pasta is fuelling record grain shipments from the Port of Hamilton. After Covid struck in March, sales of pasta skyrocketed.
Cooks know a good supply of pasta in the kitchen translates to an endless variety of meals. According to Canadian Grocer pasta sales rose 205%, second only to rice at 235%, after pandemic reality set in. This strong demand for comfort food is a boon for Canadian wheat producers, particularly the. durum wheat used to produce pasta.
This season, a steady stream of ships tied up in Hamilton Harbour loading Ontario grown grain for export to pasta crazy countries like Italy. According to stats released this month by the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority (HOPA) wheat exports leaving Hamilton harbour were up 80% over the same time period last year. By the end of October 200,000 MT had been shipped.
Larissa Fenn, public affairs director for HOPA says the increase is due to record consumptionoverseas and countries shoring up their own domestic supplies, after lacklustre growing seasons in Europe and North Africa.
Farmers in Canada sowed 5.69 million acres of durum wheat in 2020, a 16 percent increase from a year earlier. Just a year ago flour miller Parrish & Heimbecker built a second four mill in their Hamilton location and now are the largest user of Ontario wheat.