Butter crisis in France deepens, results in soaring prices world over

France, the country with the highest per capita butter consumption rate in the world, is facing a major butter crisis for the last few months. While the crisis still continues, it has affected the commodity’s availability resulting in soaring prices across the world. Such is the situation that finding butter for the breakfast staple has become a challenge across France. Soaring global demand and falling supplies have boosted butter prices, and with French supermarkets unwilling to pay more for the dairy product, producers are taking their wares across the border. That has left the French, short of a key ingredient for their sauces and tarts. Global butter prices have almost tripled to 7,000 euros ($8,144) a tonne from 2,500 euros in 2016, according to Agritel, a Paris-based farming consultancy. In Europe, prices peaked at about 6,500 euros a tonne in September, the highest since the European Commission began collecting such data in 2000. While France’s Food Retailers’ Federation is underplaying the shortages as a temporary logistical problem linked in part to people hoarding butter, the issue made it recently to the floor of the French parliament. Questioned by lawmakers, agriculture minister Stephane Travert said he hoped a deal could soon be found between retailers and dairy producers. The problem can be traced to the end of milk-production quotas in April 2015 that led to a glut early last year in Europe, and a drastic drop in prices. This prompted production cuts by spring this year.