Households endure another price blow as bread ,one of the most consumed food item experiences a rise in price.
The price per 50 kg of wheat flour has risen from XAF19,000 to XAF24,000 in Cameroon since March 16, 2022. At the same time, bakers officially revalued the price of 200-gram bread loaf from XAF125 to XAF150, the price they have been fraudulently charging for weeks now after reducing the weight of the loaves of bread they produce.
According to the millers (flour producers) and bakers, the price increases were authorized by government officials on March 15, 2022, after a meeting with Minister of Trade, Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana. “After a meeting on March 15, 2022, the Minister of Commerce effectively authorized a XAF5,000 increase in the price of a 50 kg bag of wheat flour,” said Alfred Momo Ebongué, secretary-general of the millers’ association GIMC. This as reported by Business in Cameroon.
According to sources close to the case, the authorization granted by Minister Mbarga Atangana came after instructions from “the top hierarchy” as confirmed by a baker who participated in all consultations.
Millers initially suggested the price per 50-kilogram of wheat flour to be increased by XAF3000 to 22,000.
However, the government finally settled for a XAF5,000 increase, much to the delight of millers who were already fearing a wheat flour shortage due to difficulties experienced in sourcing wheat from Russia where Cameroonian millers get about 35% of their yearly volume.
The increase recently authorized by the government may create a contagion effect in other sectors like metallurgy-siderurgy, cement, fish, etc… where operators have been requesting retail price adjustments for months now.
Those price adjustment requests are justified by the rise in the prices of raw materials and shipping costs due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Also, the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, which is one of the justifications to increase the price of bread and wheat flour, has affected the local metallurgy industry.
That not withstanding , most bakeries like Dovv, Santa Lucia, Select already informed their customers of the sudden change . Meanwhile this is not yet applicable in local stores.