Bread breaches US$2 price per loaf, bakers say not in control

HARARE – The price of bread shot up by an average 30 percent on Wednesday as bakers responded to a hike in the price of flour last week.

The new price of bread was set at Z$352, up from Z$270, the National Bakers Association of Zimbabwe said.

Lobel’s said the United States dollar price of its bread would more than double from US$1 to a new recommended retail price of US$2.27.

Bakers association president Dennis Wallah said: “In terms of the value chain system, the baking industry is at the end of the value chain. So, when anything happens along the value chain, it affects us in terms of pricing.

“For example, the Zimbabwe dollar fuel is non-existent on the market and that impacts us. Last week, the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe raised the price of flour, and you know that flour is a major component in the baking industry, so that statement affects us.”

Last week, grain millers announced a 52 percent and 31 percent increase for maize meal and flour respectively, citing price adjustments by the Grain Marketing Board, rising costs in fuel and packaging.

National Consumer Rights Association spokesman Effie Ncube said: “At $270, bread was already too expensive for the majority of households. This hike will further erode the disposable incomes of consumers and drive more and more people into food poverty and lead to nutritional insecurity.

“If not contained, this may also have a negative domino effect on the prices of other basic commodities, leading to hikes in prices.”

The government blames rising prices on the war in Ukraine.

Russia and Ukraine supply nearly a third of the world’s wheat, but the conflict has restricted exports – particularly from Ukraine – inducing worldwide shortages.

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