Zimbabwean consumers could see the price of a loaf of bread rise by as much as 20 percent soon due to a surge in world wheat prices resulting from a one-year Russian ban on cereal exports after devastating crop fires there.
Wellington Peyama, a member of the National Bakers Association of Zimbabwe, said the proposed price increase will push the price of bread from US$1 to US$1.20 a loaf.
Russia, the world’s third largest producer of wheat, stopped cereal exports last Sunday following widespread fires in its wheat-growing regions, sparking a global increase in wheat prices.
Zimbabwe’s wheat harvests are expected to hit an all-time low this year of 11,000 metric tonnes in a nation that needs at least 250,000 tonnes annually for to meet domestic requirements.
Peyama told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube the price increases are unavoidable, as Zimbabwean millers have warned of a 25 percent increase in wheat and flour-related commodities and the cost must be passed on.
Roderick Fayayo, spokesman for the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association, said many Zimbabweans won't be able to afford bread following such an increase in the price of the basic commodity.
Many Zimbabweans make no more than US$200 a month.