Homemade wheat flour or atta which is a staple in most Indian cuisines is seeing a sudden rise in price. This has led to an increase in the prices of bakery products, breads and cookies too. This is a source of concern for the average Indian household which is already reeling from inflation.
Wheat flour prices hit a decade high last month. The monthly average retail price of wheat flour across India stood at 32.38 rupees/kg in April, which is the highest since January 2010. On May 7, the price was 32.78 rupees/kg, according to government data from Union Civilian Supply Departments. Ministry of Consumption, Food and Public Distribution.
A kilo of wheat flour cost Rs 30.03/ga a year ago. A year-over-year analysis shows prices are up 9.15% year-on-year.
Baked goods, bread is more expensive too
Needless to say, the rise in atta prices led to its own domino effect. Since atta prices are on the rise, prices for bakery products, cookies and breads have also seen a sharp increase in recent months.
Witness the retail inflation for bakery bread which was 8.39% in March – the highest in seven years.
Britannia, a leading maker of baked goods, is expected to raise prices by 10% in the coming days. It has already pushed a 10% rise in 2022.
Britannia chief executive Varun Berry said prices for raw materials such as flour, sugar, cashews and laminated and corrugated cans have increased due to the global geopolitical situation. He added that they should be mindful of low wheat production and take calls on a monthly basis.
Why atta prices are high
The price increase is due to lower wheat stocks and production due to an early summer, as well as strong demand outside the country. The war against Ukraine, which is one of the main producers of wheat, has a limited supply. Russia and Ukraine together account for a quarter of total world wheat exports.
Indians are also bombing more due to higher foreign demand for Indian wheat. High fuel prices also added to the woes.
People in Mumbai pay Rs 49/kg for atta, followed by Rs 34/kg in Chennai. Delhi pays Rs 27/kg. Among the 156 centers for which data is available, Saturday’s price was highest in Port Blair (Rs 59/kg) and lowest (Rs 22/kg) in Purulia, West Bengal.
(With contributions from Aishwarya Paliwal)
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