Wheat farmers in Zambia have hiked the price of wheat to US$420 from US$370, meaning the price of bread and other wheat products will soon increase as well.
Zambia Wheat Growers Chairman Donald Burton said the hike was triggered by the 75% increase in electricity tariffs, as well as an increase in the price of other inputs.
“Wheat growers are importing fertiliser and chemicals from South Africa and electricity has also gone up,” Burton said.
Zambia consumes an average of 540 000 tons of wheat per annum, but last season experienced a deficit of 250 000 tons. Millers had to import 150 000 tons as a stop-gap measure. The imports were halted a week ago when the harvest of the new crop started.
World output for the 2017/2018 season is projected at 737.83 million tons, which will lead to prices falling.
But Burton justified the increase, even if regional prices are around US$370 per ton.
“It is true that wheat from South Africa costs US$370 per ton, but importing it to Zambia on a truck will cost an additional US$100 in import taxes.
“So, we are asking for less despite the increase,” he said.