Wholesale wheat prices to rise 9.7%

Kyodo

The agriculture ministry said Wednesday it will raise wholesale prices for five imported wheat varieties by an average of 9.7 percent to ¥54,990 per ton in April, the second rise since October, due to higher international market prices and the yen’s depreciation.

The yen’s decline has pushed up prices 2 percent, and new prices to become effective in October might get even higher if the currency remains weak, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry said.

The rate of increase in April is the second-steepest after the 18 percent notched in April 2011.

Of five main wheat varieties, two for use in “udon” noodles and confection will become 14.2 percent more expensive. The prices for the remaining three varieties used in bread and Chinese noodles will jump 7.5 percent, making it likely that price hikes will be passed onto consumers.