KARACHI: Already struggling to survive amid unprecedented inflationary pressures, consumers were given a new price shock by wheat flour millers and fresh milk retailers on Wednesday.

By continuously increasing prices in the last few months, flour mills have now fixed the rate of flour no.2.5 at Rs99 per kg as compared to Rs94 in the last week of August, while super fine flour and fine flour rates are now tagged at Rs104 versus Rs96 per kg.

The new rate of the 10kg flour bag has been fixed at Rs995 as compared to Rs945.

As per rates based on the Sensitive Price Indicator for the week ending Sept 1, the 20kg flour bag price surged to Rs1,960-2,140 from Rs1,880-1,960 on Aug 25.

Retailers were charging Rs580 for a 5kg branded fine flour bag as compared to Rs550 while a 10kg bag now costs Rs1,100 as against Rs1,020-1,030.

They said these prices were based on old price hikes while the rates would further jump after another price rise made by the millers in the last two days.

A miller said the availability of wheat in the open market has shrunk considerably due to reduced supplies of wheat from the many Sindh areas owing to floods and damaged roads.

As a result, a 100kg bag of wheat in the open market now costs Rs8,500 compared to Rs7,800 a few days ago.

Fresh milk

A litre of fresh milk now costs Rs180 per litre after an increase of Rs10.

Earlier, fresh milk’s per-litre price jumped by Rs20 in July and by Rs10 in March, when it was selling for Rs140.

A retailer in F.B. Area said he had purchased milk at Rs6,100 per maund compared to Rs5,750 a few days back which had been passed on to the end users.

Waheed Gaddi, media coordinator of the Karachi Milk Retailers Association (KMRA), told Dawn two retail rates were prevailing in the city as the majority of shopkeepers were selling milk at Rs180, while others are demanding Rs190 from the consumers.

Blaming wholesalers for increasing the prices, he said the hike in power tariff, transportation, shopping bags, labour charges, etc. had also led to higher retail prices.

He said dairy farmers had increased the prices by Rs320 per maund.

The commissioner had fixed the retail rate of fresh milk at Rs120 per litre in December 2021, but consumers had yet to witness its practical implementation at the retailers’ end.

In tetra milk, the maker of Olper’s issued a price list to the retailers, depicting a jump of Rs20 per litre to Rs220 effective from Sept 27 from Rs200 prevailing in mid-July, while it was selling at Rs180 in May. The company did not give a reason for the price hike.

Published in Dawn, September 8th, 2022

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