Prices of bread, doubles, roti may increase
Ariti Jankie South Bureau
Monday, August 27th 2007
The price of flour could reach new heights by Christmas, it was feared yesterday.
That could mean a hefty hit on consumers' pockets: they could be called on to pay more for bread and cakes, doubles and roti and a range of other products made from flour.
Officials of National Flour Mills and Nutrimix Flour Mills both pointed to steep increases this year and said they expected the price rise to continue because a sharp drop in the production of wheat in the US and Canada. Blaming torrential rains and intense summer heat, wheat farmers have said that production was expected to drop by 20 per cent in Canada and up to 50 per cent in the USA, the countries from which Trinidad and Tobago imports its wheat.
So far this year, doubles have gone from $2 to $2.50 and just recently went up to $3, while a mini roti went from $8 to $10. Buss-up shot sold in large quantities rose from $12 to $17 each. The price of sliced bread rose from $4.50 at the end of last year to $7.25 with whole wheat went to $7.50 at several outlets.
Nutrimix's chief executive officer, Vassant Bharat, said that the price of wheat went up by 60 per cent over the past eight months and will continue to rise in the months ahead.
"All the wheat used in flour manufacturing comes from the US," he said.
He said that, apart from bad weather, the world market for wheat has suffered another blow from a severe drought in Australia.
Bharat said it was the first time in 100 years that Australia was suffering from a drought. He said that more demand for wheat from India, Brazil and China had been sucking up supplies from the market.
"Over the past few years India, China and Brazil have been demanding more wheat from the international markets," Bharat said.
He noted, too, that US farmers have been converting wheat plantations to corn explaining that corn was currently being used in the manufacture of ethanol.
"Farmers are getting more money for corn than wheat," he said.
Corporate communications manager of NFM Donna Cox said that any change in the market for wheat in the United States would affect the Trinidad and Tobago market for flour.
She said: "NFM must assess the impact of the increase in costs before we decide how we would manage it and before a decision to increase prices can be taken."
Over the past few months, she said, the price had been increasing due to the problems overseas.
"We mainly import from the US and would keep looking for competitive wheat prices because of the way the situation with wheat has been going," Cox said.
President of the Supermarket Association, Heeranand Maharaj, said that the price of flour increased twice this year.
He said that the last increase of 10 per cent was in June and the price of flour has been determined by NFM and Nutrimix based on the prices they pay for wheat.
"We are the price takers, we cannot determine the prices. We have to accept the prices they give to us," he said adding that since there were two flour mills prices had become competitive.
Bakers said that they have attempted to keep the price down but increasing cost of flour would leave them no choice but to raise prices "at some stage".
Fockin niggas doh care bout that. At the end of the day these mudder cont will hold up some fockin truck that goin to deliver flour to graocery store and tote the fockin truck away too.
As long as niggas have ah CEPEP wok these conts will eat fockin grass and believe you me, Manning will have these assholes eating grass pretty soon.
Now no where else in the world do we find that fockin bread prices going up except in Trinidad. People who live outside of T&T have posted on the Express site that they know nothing about the rise in the price of fockin wheat.
I remember a couple of years ago before Nutrimix came into existence that these fockers at NFM had increased the price of flour when the world prices were down. These fockin state institutions could only make money when dey could enjoy ah fockin monopoly, like TSTT.
With all the fockin money we could be eating more fockin rice here in T&T. We could grow it, but nah the fockin CEPEP wok is it and this fockin duncee regime aint goin to do nutten about encouraging people to plant more fockin food.
These mudder cont BLIGHT. They have twenty different crime plan and every time they come wid one, crime does fockin go up. They have a food consultation and focking food goin up.
Just now yuh go have to be ah big shot and make reservations to eat ah mudder cont doubles.