Millers raise maize meal prices by 15 percent, bread to also go up

HARARE – Zimbabwe’s staple maize meal is going up 15 percent in price with immediate effect, the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) announced Thursday.

The millers said this was in response to a decision by the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) to raise the price of ton of maize from Z$43,000 to Z$50,000.

GMAZ chairman Tafadzwa Musarara said the new recommended retail price for a 10kg bag of Roller Meal is Z$1,099, going up from Z$955.

The millers have also raised the price of bread flour by 14.74 percent, they said due to supply chain disruptions caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The new price for a tonne of flour is Z$136,544 up from Z$119,000.

The Bakers Association of Zimbabwe said consumers can expect an increase in the price of bread after the landing price for a tonne of wheat surged from US$475 to US$675.

“Once there is a price increase within the value chain, it will affect at the end of the value chain,” the association’s president Dennis Walla said.

“Our association does not determine prices, each individual member sets their own price based on their cost drivers. Bread prices are a culmination of a multiplicity of issues of which flour is one, but we are all aware that fuel has gone up, electricity is up and other raw materials are going up as well.”

Musarara said Zimbabwe’s improved winter harvest saved the country an estimated US$146 million, but the country still needs to import 155,000 metric tonnes “to mitigate the variance between local production and national demand.”

Zimbabweans eat an average 1.2 million loaves a day, according to the GMAZ.

Russia and Ukraine supply nearly a third of the world’s wheat.

Global prices for wheat reached a 14-year high in recent days following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which has cut shipping routes. Russia’s wheat crop is not facing the same disruptions as Ukraine’s and sanctions do not currently target food exports. But three major shipping lines are already refusing to do business with Russia, and the war could bring about further disruptions.

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