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Nigeria’s bakers mull another increase in bread price as Russia ends trade deal with Ukraine

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Bread makers in Nigeria are contemplating another increase in the price of bread or size reduction over the rise in the cost of flour.

The price of flour has increased to N33,000 per bag in the last few weeks while the costs of other ingredients including sugar and margarine have also shot up in the market.

The bread makers had earlier increased the price of the item to the chagrin of Nigerians.

The Chairman of Lagos State Master Bakers Association, Raji Omotunde, confirmed the planned hike in bread price in a chat with Ripples Nigeria on Monday.

He said the bakers are looking at the reduction in the size of the bread as an alternative to another price increase.

The development followed the renewed attack by Russian forces on Ukraine and the refusal to allow its neighbour to use the Black Sea for the export of wheat.

Reuters reported over the weekend that Russia was yet to fully commit to the extension of a trade deal through the Black Sea reached by both sides in July.

READ ALSO: Nigerians to pay more for bread as bakers increase price by 20%

The country’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Vershinin, told the state news agency TASS that talks with the United Nations officials in Geneva on Friday were useful and detailed but the issue of renewing the deal – which expires in one week – had yet to be resolved.

Ukraine’s export of wheat and meslin to Nigeria was $65.89 million in 2021, according to the UN COMTRADE database on international trade.

The rise in the dollar rate has also increased concerns for importers looking to buy from other markets.

Checks by Ripples Nigeria on Monday showed that flour is now sold for N33,000, up from N30,000 between the last week in October and the first week of November, while the price of a bag of sugar has also crept up to N32,000.

Omotunde, who explained the position of bakers, said: “I can assure you that there will be no price reduction in the price of flour as long as flour millers are importing wheat with dollars whose rate has gone up to over N650. Definitely, since the rate of the dollar is going so high, nobody should expect any reduction in the rate of flour and confectionery.

“Two days ago, the price of flour increased by N3,000 to over N33,000 per bag. And we are facing the same problem with sugar which is now sold at N32,000 per bag in addition to the prices of margarine and other inputs that have all gone up. These items are all imported, and I do not see any sign of succor at all. The high input cost makes it too difficult for us to break even.”

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