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ECONOMY

Japan govt to raise imported wheat prices by 19 pct

  • September 8, 2021
  • , Jiji Press , 5:45 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, Sept. 8 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s agriculture ministry said Wednesday that the prices of imported wheat it sells to private milling companies will be raised by 19.0 pct, effective Oct. 1.

 

The hike will be the sharpest since the increase of about 30 pct in April 2008. The move comes as international market prices are on the rise reflecting robust demand from China and very poor harvests in major wheat-producing countries hit by weather disasters such as drought.

 

The weighted average price of five imported wheat brands will rise 9,890 yen from the current level to 61,820 yen per ton, the ministry said. The new selling price will be much higher than the average of 53,690 yen in the past 10 years and the highest since the 64,750 yen set at the time of the April 2009 revision.

 

The hike in the state-set prices is expected to push up retail prices of bread by 2.3 yen per loaf and those of household-use flour by 14.1 yen per kilogram, according to the ministry. The retail price increases will likely be made three months after the state selling price hike.

 

The ministry believes that the coming hike will have an effect of raising the country’s consumer price index by 0.016 percentage point. “The impact will not be that big,” a ministry official said.

 

China started this year to expand purchases of wheat as livestock feed while harvests plummeted in the United States and Canada, major wheat producers, due to droughts caused by heat wave.

 

In addition, sea transportation fees surged due to shortages of ships as freighters flocked to China, whose economy recovered from the slump blamed on the new coronavirus pandemic ahead of many other countries.

 

Imports account for about 90 pct of wheat used in Japan.

 

In the country, wheat imports are exclusively handled by the government, and the state revises its selling price every April and October, taking into account international market prices and fluctuations in exchange rates.

 

The price will go up for the second time in a row.

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