Govt must provide relief from the sharp hike announced in the price of flour โ€“ Chaudhry
We are working behind the scenes to see how we can mitigate inflated prices of items - Sayed-Khaiyum

Govt must provide relief from the sharp hike announced in the price of flour โ€“ Chaudhry

We are working behind the scenes to see how we can mitigate inflated prices of items - Sayed-Khaiyum

By Dhanjay Deo
Wednesday 09/03/2022
Fiji Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Fiji Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry says the government must intervene and provide relief from the sharp hike announced in the price of flour.

Chaudhry says the hefty increase will send the majority of our families in the medium to low income brackets reeling as flour is an everyday essential food item.

He says it will lead to a rise in the price of bread as well as the cost of making rotis, two of our most staple local diet items and at a time when so many of our families are unable to afford one decent meal a day.

Chaudhry says the government must provide urgent relief and remove the 9% VAT it imposed on basic food items. He says it is most insensitive to simply say that global prices for wheat are going up and there is nothing we can do but pass it on to the consumer.

The Labour Leader has also suggested the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission look at the profit margins of the manufacturers as records show they are making sufficient profits and are in a position to absorb some of the increases as part of their corporate social responsibility.

Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum had highlighted last month that wheat prices are expected to go up. He said flour is a price control item, however, if the input cost is higher and it gets higher, they expect the prices to go higher.

Sayed-Khaiyum had also stated in parliament that they are working behind the scenes to see how they can mitigate inflated prices of items.


Flour prices go up from today

By Rashika Kumar
Wednesday 09/03/2022

Get ready to pay more for flour from today as the maximum retail price has increased after the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission approved the increase in the ex-factory wholesale price and retail price of wheat products following the increase in the prices of wheat in the global market and freight charges.

The retail price of a 10kg bag of normal flour is now $17.10. It used to cost $10 to $12 about 1 and a half year ago, and was around $14.11 until yesterday.

A 5kg bag will now cost $8.65.

These prices are applicable for Suva, Lautoka, Ba, Lami, Nadi, Sigatoka, Tavua, Nausori, Nasinu and the areas on Viti Levu within a radius of 5 kilometres from any of the post offices situated at Korovou, Navua or Rakiraki.

The retail price of a 50kg bag of normal flour in these areas is now $79.89, the price for a 25kg bag is now $40.66, a 4kg bag is now $6.96, a 2kg bag is $3.49 and a 1kg bag is $1.77.

FCCC says the retail price of 50kg bag of pre-packed sharps flour is now $82.64, 25kg bag is $42.03, 10kg bag is now $17.66, 5kg bag $8.93, 4kg bag is $7.18, 2kg is $3.60 and 1kg bag is now $1.82.

Prices will differ outside the stated areas.

They say ex-factory wholesale price of 10kg normal flour is now $14.57 which is an increase of $2.55.

The wholesale price of 5kg flour is now $7.38 and the price of 50kg normal flour is increasing to $70.64 which is an increase of $11.13.

A 25kg bag of normal flour will now cost $35.50 which is an increase by $5.70.

A carton of normal flour which comes as 6 packets of 4kg flour will now cost $35.59, a carton of 12 packets of 2kg flour will cost $35.66 and a carton of 24 packets of 1kg flour will cost $36.17.

You can check out the full list of retail prices on our website, fijivillage.

The FCCC says the last price review for wheat products was conducted in March 2019, when increases in prices of wheat in the global market and freight charges led the way for a price increase in Fiji.

They say towards the end of 2021, they received submissions from wheat manufacturers in Fiji requesting an increase in the price of wheat products due to surges in global wheat prices.

They say Fiji sources a majority of its wheat from Australia, so any increase in prices of wheat in the Australian market will directly reflect on wheat prices domestically.

The FCCC says their independent assessments and verifications have noted increases in wheat prices by close to 18% and surges in freight and cargo rates by 9%, when compared to the last price review in March 2019.

They say in addition to this, they have also factored in increases in conversion costs (that is, production cost, milling and administration costs and other overhead costs), and determined that the average increases in domestic wheat prices will be by 21%.

The Commission further says it is also plausible that increases in the price of flour may also impact the prices for other goods where flour is a key, substantive ingredient.

They add that despite this importance, the price of flour in Fiji must increase when world market conditions collectively require it, such as unfavourable climatic conditions in major wheat-producing nations, buyers willing to pay higher prices to secure their supply of wheat, and transport and logistical issues stemming from restrictions related to COVID-19.

The Commission also says in recent times, there has been a lot of coverage on what impacts the Russia-Ukraine tension will have on global wheat prices, given that they both supply about a quarter of the world's wheat.

They say all these indicators point to the fact that global market conditions have led to higher prices in the Australian market, and will continue to push prices up.

The FCCC adds Fiji is a price taker and must respond to the changes in the world market in order for domestic markets to remain feasible however, they will continue to monitor conditions in the international wheat market and ensure that domestic prices are set in a reasonable, balanced manner in accordance with the FCCC Act 2010.

Authorisation of Prices for the Supply of Wheat Products Wholesale and Retail in Fiji





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