KARACHI: Flour millers on Saturday further pushed up rates after the Sindh government increased the wheat issue price to Rs3,450 per 100 kg bag from last year’s Rs3,250.
After the fresh hike, the flour no.2.5 and 10 kg bag rates have been fixed at Rs48 per kg and 10kg bag at Rs485 as compared to Rs 47.50 and Rs 480. The new rates issued by the millers for Maida and fine flour are Rs52.50 as compared to Rs50.50.
In April, the rates of flour no.2.5 and 10kg bag were Rs33.50 per kg and Rs340 respectively, while maida and fine flour were available at Rs36.50 per kg.
With fresh price hike in flour varieties, the makers of 5kg and 10kg bags of Bake Parlor and Ashrafi are likely to jack up prices further higher. The prices of two high-selling brands have already been raised to Rs290-300 and Rs580 from Rs270-280 and Rs540.
The flour no.2.5 price was raised by Rs14.50 per kg, maida and fine flour by Rs16, while the 10-kg bag by Rs145 during the April-October period. Chakki flour rate had been increased by Rs 18 per kg from April till to date.
Provincial and the federal governments had so far not taken any serious notice of massive price hike in main staple food from April on wards. Only meetings are being held regularly at the federal capital to monitor price hike situation in the country rather than taking any practical steps to curb prices.
Flour millers claimed that traders in the open market have resorted to hoarding on available wheat stocks while some are releasing 100kg wheat bag at Rs4,400 as compared to Rs4,300. Despite a good crop and sizable carry-over stocks of last year, the 100kg wheat bag price had risen by Rs1,400 since April.
Pakistan Flour Mills Association, Sindh Zone, chairman Khalid Masood said the Rs200 hike in wheat issue price for 100 kg bag has nothing to do with Saturday’s hike in flour prices by the millers.
He attributed flour price rise to Rs100 hike in wheat bag price in the open market. Wheat is continuously getting shorter in the open market as Sindh wheat had been going out to Punjab for the last six months while the Punjab government has recently imposed ban on inter-provincial wheat and flour movement.
He said the Sindh government had not procured wheat this year and it had announced the issue price based on old stocks of last year.
Published in Dawn, October 27th, 2019