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New Zimbabwe

THE prices of mealie meal and flour shot up Thursday, in a development which adds further strain to consumers.

The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) announced the increase in statement, attributing the increase in the price of mealie meal to recent upward review of the stapple by the Grain Marketing Board (GMB).

The increase in the price of flour, GMAZ said, was a result of depressed supplies owing to the ongoing armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Russia and Ukraine are the world’s two largest wheat producers.

GMB increased the cost of maize from ZW$43 000 to ZW$50 000 per metric tonne.

GMAZ president Tafadzwa Musara said the recent fuel price hikes have also left the millers with no choice except to pass down the cost to consumers.

“Maize meal retail price for 10kg Roller Meal will increase by 15 percent from ZW$955 to ZW$1 099. Bread flour will move up by 14,74 percent from ZW$ 119 000 to ZW$136 544 per metric tonne,” he said.

The millers said the price of wheat surged from US$475 to US$675 per tonne, setting the pace for imminent bread price hikes.

Currently, Zimbabwe is the biggest net importer of Russian wheat in the East and Southern African region and the country has been managing to ensure sufficient supply of bread nationwide through a number of locally made initiatives.

“The government sponsored wheat farming programmes have recorded the highest yield since the commencement of wheat farming in Zimbabwe. However, the war in Ukraine has greatly affected dynamics leading to the price increase,” Musarara said.

Currently, Zimbabwe is consuming 16 000 metric tonnes of bread flour monthly, and approximately 1,2 million loaves a day. Demand for bread is expected to increase as aggregate demand improves, owing to removal of Covi-19 induced lockdowns.

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