Bread price hike imminent

Another bread price increase looms after the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) hiked wheat price by about 67 percent, millers and bakeries have said.

Millers were previously purchasing wheat from GMB at $3 548 per tonne and now the price is pegged at around $5 900 per tonne.

Zimbabwe consumes about 38 000 tonnes of wheat monthly in the production of bread, confectioneries and other flour-related products.

Grain Millers’ Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) media and public relations manager Mr Garikai Chaunza said millers could not absorb the steep hike, hence the price will be passed on to consumers.

“We see the margin increase as being high, whose costs we cannot afford to absorb,” said Mr Chaunza.

A standard loaf of bread currently retails at about $15 with in-store bakeries charging between $10 and $12.

National Bakers’ Association of Zimbabwe presidentMr  Denis Wala said bakeries had no option but to increase the prices of all wheat or flour-based products.

“If there is a movement in the cost of raw materials it means that the price of bread is also likely to increase,” he said

“When we are looking at the issue of raw materials we are not only looking at flour but there is also issue of electricity and we all know that Zesa recently reviewed its tariffs.”

In a terse response, Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Deputy Minister Vangelis Haritatos said: “The past week has seen the reduction in the price of bread.

“I think it is still early to comment. Let us wait to hear what the respective associations say in the coming week.”