Japan Govt to Raise Imported Wheat Prices by 19 Pct

Economy

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.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press