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Prices of foodstuffs have been on the rise recently in Japan due in part to a spike in demand in China.

Producers have been unable to absorb the rising costs of ingredients, and the climb in prices of cooking oil, flour, imported meat and other foods is expected to deal a blow to household finances.

Nisshin Oillio Group Ltd., J-Oil Mills Inc. and Showa Sangyo Co. plan to hike prices of household-use cooking oil by about ¥50 per kilogram in August due to a resurgence in demand in China, which recovered quickly from the coronavirus crisis.

“(The rise) may not be temporary, as the supply-demand balance may become tight structurally” due to global population growth and the rising use of vegetable oil as diesel fuel as a measure against climate change, an official at Nisshin Oillio Group said.

The producers plan on raising the prices of cooking oil for commercial use as well.

Nisshin Foods Inc., Nippn Corp. and Showa Sangyo Co. announced price hikes for household-use wheat flour from July.

The climb reflects higher sale prices set by the government in April. Imported wheat, which makes up some 90% of domestic consumption, is first bought by the state and then sold to the private sector. The government-set sale prices were raised as wheat flour market prices have been on the rise due to increases in buying by China as feed for pigs.

Frozen beef from the United States is also seeing prices soar. Wholesale prices of short plates, which are used in gyudon (beef bowls), jumped nearly 70% in May compared with a year before, due to the effects of a decrease in Australian beef shipments triggered by a drought as well as rising demand in the United States and China.

As Japan relies heavily on imported food, the country is expected to continue suffering from price spikes in international markets.

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