In Zimbabwe bread set to cost ZWL$730, industry blames wheat price hike

Spread the love

HARARE: The cost of bread is expected to go up following government’s recent review of wheat prices from ZWL$66,000 to ZWL$239,360 per tonne, industry sources have indicated.

The recent 363% increase in the price of wheat means bakers will need to cushion themselves by increasing the price of a loaf of bread, which according to sources will soon be pegged at ZWL$730.

According to a source in the baking industry, the adjustment of wheat prices by the government has forced them to make a 26% upward adjustment of flour prices.

“We are therefore increasing the price of bread flour by 26% from ZWL $397,000 to ZWL $499,500 per metric ton,” the source said.

Despite government’s recent downward review of fuel levies and promises of maintaining a stable supples, some of the forces affecting bread prices include currency devaluation and movement in exchange rate.

“The interbank rate between the last price review and now has gone up by 16,4% from ZWL $311 to ZWL $362 per $1, that impacts the overall cost of wheat we import for gristing and operating costs,” said the source.

Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube recently announced measures that are meant to curb hyperinflation and stabilise prices amid concerns over depleting strategic grain reserves.

“There is, nevertheless, urgent need for Government to intervene to bring stability in the price and supply of maize meal and bread flour in the economy,” said Ncube in his pronouncements of new economic measures.

“Government should release 20 000 metric tonnes per month to millers for the next three months beginning in July 2022 at the import parity price calculated at the prevailing interbank rate.”

“Millers have indicated that they will in turn import 70,000 MT of wheat over the same period. The wheat will be sold at an import parity price of USD680 converted into local currency equivalent at the ruling exchange rate,” he added. – Newzim