Flour price goes up by Rs30 per 10kg KARACHI: As the Sindh government is set to announce the new support price for wheat next month, flour millers have raised prices of different varieties.
The retail price of 10-kilogram flour bags of Ashrafi and Bake Parlour has been increased by Rs30, to Rs450. However, they are selling for Rs440 at some shops. The 5kg bag now costs Rs225 compared to Rs220 earlier.
The 5kg bag of chakki flour now sells at Rs240 compared to Rs235 a few days back.
Retailers said they didn’t know the reason behind the latest price hike. However, a miller said flour prices have been increased after wheat jumped to Rs3,450 per 100kg on the open market from Rs3,350 a few days ago due to shortage. He claimed that millers have raised flour price by just Re1 per kg.
He said the Sindh Food Department holds 1.2 million tonnes of wheat at present, including some carryover stocks from the previous year. The Sindh government is planning to fix the issue price at Rs3,340 per 100kg bag, whereas millers are seeking a rate of Rs3,315, the support price set by Punjab. “The issue price of wheat should be equal across the country,” he insisted.
The Sindh government is likely to announce the new issue price of wheat after Muharram after approval from the Sindh chief minister, he added.
The government has been protecting wheat growers by pushing the regulatory duty on the commodity’s imports twice. The duty now stands at 60 per cent compared to 25pc earlier this year. As a result, wheat imports remained zero in the first two months of the current fiscal year. There were also no imports in the previous fiscal year. That contrasted sharply with 686,650 tonnes of wheat (costing $185 million) in 2014-15.
Exports have also been under pressure from low commodity prices on the world market. Combined wheat exports of July and August stood at a mere 229 tonnes (fetching $77,000) despite huge stocks in the country and an export rebate to $90 a tonne.
In the fiscal year 2015-16, Pakistan exported 1,145 tonnes of wheat worth $335,000 as compared to 8,286 tonnes ($2.9m) in 2014-15.