Commodities

Bread prices rise on higher wheat costs

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A supermarket attendant arranging loaves of bread on a shelf in October 2020. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NMG

geraldandae

Summary

  • The rising price of wheat has pushed up the cost of bread in Kenya for the first time in four years, hitting household budgets at a time when the price of milk has also gone up.
  • Nearly all bread brands have recorded a price increase , with a 400 gramme loaf going up by Sh5 to sell at Sh55 while a 600 gramme loaf is going for Sh70 from Sh65 previously.
  • Bread is a staple on almost all breakfast tables in the country, meaning that any price increase is keenly felt.

The rising price of wheat has pushed up the cost of bread in Kenya for the first time in four years, hitting household budgets at a time when the price of milk has also gone up.

Nearly all bread brands have recorded a price increase , with a 400 gramme loaf going up by Sh5 to sell at Sh55 while a 600 gramme loaf is going for Sh70 from Sh65 previously.

Bread is a staple on almost all breakfast tables in the country, meaning that any price increase is keenly felt.

Mr Bimal Shah, the managing director of Broadway Group of Companies, said the cost was increased on January 5 after the price of wheat went up significantly in the global market from where Kenya procures up to 75 percent of her total requirement.

A tonne of wheat has increased by 30 percent to Sh33,000 from Sh25,300, sparking a rally both on bakers and standard flour.

“Since last year, we have witnessed a significant increase in cost of wheat and this, coupled with high cost of other ingredients that we use has necessitated the price increase on bread,” said Mr Shah.

Mr Shah said the price of bakers flour has increased from Sh2,500 to Sh2,900.

He added that the price was to be increased in March last year, but the outbreak of coronavirus saw the demand for bread decline, forcing millers to cut on production due to low sales.

The rising cost of wheat flour adds to an already expensive shopping basket for consumers as prices of other basic items such as milk and sugar have gone up.

For instance, a 500ml packet of milk has gone up from Sh50 previously to Sh55 with processors pinning the increase on a supply shortage of the commodity in the market.