February 24/Tokyo/Asia Pulse -- The Japanese government has announced plans to hike wheat prices by 18%. The average price will come to 56,710 yen ($689) per ton, as wheat prices around the world soar amid concerns about a possible shortage due to soaring demand from developing economies coupled with adverse weather conditions in wheat-producing regions.
In Japan, the government single-handedly imports wheat and sells it to flour millers at prices determined semiannually in April and October, based on its preceding half-year purchase prices.
When bad weather sent international grain prices higher in 2007 and 2008, Japan's average domestic price climbed as high as 76,030 yen a ton in October 2008. It had since been trending lower.
"The upcoming price hikes will not have a big impact on retail prices" of bread and udon noodles, senior vice minister Nobutaka Tsutsui said. Flour is said to account for a few per cent of such prices.
From the February 25, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News
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