February 1, 2023

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Bakers scramble to cope amid spike in flour prices

2 min read

By Revin Mikhael D. Ochave, Reporter

BAKERS are struggling to keep prices of bread and pastries low amid the spike in flour prices caused by the Russia-Ukraine war and disruptions in the global supply of wheat.

Several bakery owners interviewed by BusinessWorld said that prices of flour, depending on the quality, have gone up by around 20% to nearly 50% in recent months.

“Flour and wheat supplies seem sufficient in the Philippines. We have no problem buying, but the flour prices are increasing continuously since March due to volatility of world supply, I think, because of the Ukraine-Russia war. It was P810 per 25-kilogram (kg) sack of flour in January, now it’s at P955 per sack,” Wilson Lee Flores, owner of Kamuning Bakery Café, said in a mobile phone interview.

The Philippines is a major importer of milling-quality wheat, as it has no commercial production of wheat. It mainly imports wheat from the United States, Australia and Canada, according to Luisito Chavez, former vice-president of the Philippine Federation of Bakers’ Association, Inc.   

“We import 100% of wheat for our flour mills to process into flour. We use flour for pandesal, breads, cakes, biscuits, cookies, instant noodles and pasta. The Ukraine-Russia conflict, plus economic or trade sanctions of the West on Russia have destabilized global wheat prices and supplies,” Mr. Flores said.

Russia and Ukraine account for around a third of global wheat supply.

Jundio C. Salvador, owner of Pan de Amerikana bakery and restaurant, said in a mobile phone interview that the flour they use for making bread and other pastries have increased to P1,070 per 25 kg, from P870 per 25 kg previously.

“(Flour) supply-wise, we are not encountering any problems as of the moment. We are concerned only with the rising prices at an average of 22% for the past previous month,” Mr. Salvador said.   

Kamuning Bakery Café has already raised the price of pandesal to P4 a piece, from P3…


2022-06-06 12:33:38

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