KARACHI: Millers in Karachi have shocked already-stressed consumers by raising the prices of various flour varieties by Rs4 per kg, effective Friday, citing a significant drop in the arrival of wheat from flood-affected areas of interior Sindh.

Data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics showed that inflation measured by the Sensitive Price Index continued to climb in the week that ended on August 25, jumping to a record 44.58 per cent year-on-year.

In this backdrop, the new price of flour No.2.5 has been raised to Rs94 from Rs90 per kg while the rates of fine and super fine flour have been jacked to Rs96 from Rs92 per kg.

The 10 kg flour bag rate has been fixed at Rs945 as compared to Rs905 per bag.

On Friday, branded flour makers of five and 10 kg flour bags also issued new trade rates. For example, the price of Bake Parlour fine flour of five kg and 10 kg bags now

carries rates of Rs537 and Rs1055, as compared to Rs517 and Rs1,015.

The above rates are for the retailers’ trade rates. Consumers who were already paying Rs550 and Rs1,050 will now pay at least Rs570-580 and Rs1,100-1,120 depending on the areas.

The new trade rate of five kg and 10 kg Chakki flour bags of Bake Parlour now carries a new price of Rs537 and Rs1,075 as compared to Rs517 and Rs1,035. Consumers would be charged an additional Rs 4-5 per kg by retailers, depending on the size of the bag.

In the markets, retailers are already charging Rs105-110 per kg for fine flour.

A miller said the arrival of wheat from the interior Sindh areas had shrunk to only 20 per cent in the last 15 days due to heavy floods and rains that have played havoc with the road infrastructure in the interior Sindh and even in Karachi. The rate of a 100 kg wheat bag 15 days back was hovering between Rs7,600-7,800 and now the open market lacks the presence of grain.

He claims that large trucks carrying more than 500 bags of 100 kg wheat bags are not willing to risk destroying their vehicles on the deteriorating road network.

The miller expressed surprise that flour rates are getting costlier than sugar, whose prices hover between Rs85-95 per kg depending on the areas.

Published in Dawn, August 27th, 2022

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