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Some food price hikes coming Monday

JIJI

Price hikes will start with shipments Monday for food and seasonings such as jam and dressing.

The price increases stem from increased import costs due to rising prices of raw materials and the yen’s weakness. They follow price hikes for mayonnaise and bread in July and precede a planned increase in prices of sake in October.

The increases will weigh on households as wages have not risen.

Japan’s biggest jam maker, Kewpie Corp., which also makes mayonnaise, plans to raise jam prices by 4 to 7 percent, with the first price hikes for strawberry and orange marmalade jam in 23 years. Kewpie has been hit by soaring raw material prices amid growing demand in emerging economies and by the weakening of the yen against the dollar.

Mercian Corp., a Tokyo-based unit of food and beverage maker Kirin Holdings Co., plans to raise prices of its wines by some 3 to 8 percent as grape prices are rising due to poor harvests in Europe caused by bad weather. The hikes exclude products using Japanese grapes.

Nisshin Oillio Group Ltd. will raise the prices of its 315-gram mayonnaise-type dressing and 70-gram ground sesame seeds product by some ¥20 each.

Behind the price hikes are higher prices of soy beans, used in dressing oil, and surging prices of sesame in India, a major supplier, due to drought and flooding.

Because the government decided to raise the prices of imported wheat sold to flour mills in October, the wave of price hikes is expected to spread to bread and noodles.