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Japan will reduce the price of imported wheat

The effects on prices are uncertain: companies are evaluating adjustments to their food products

The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announced last Tuesday that it will reduce the selling price of imported wheat by 11.1% compared to the April-September period, bringing it to an average of 68,240 Yen (about 460 dollars ) per tonne starting next October. "Excellent positive news - commented Agriculture Minister Tetsuro Nomura -, both for consumers and producers. We will keep an eye on the trend of international prices and other indicators".

Japan imports about 80% of the grain for human consumption in the country. Generally in April and October the government reviews the selling price of five varieties of wheat based on global prices, exchange rates and other factors, the Ice agency writes today.

Global wheat prices hit a record high of around $14 a bushel in March 2022 amid fears of supply disruptions in Russia and Ukraine, which are jointly responsible for around 30% of global wheat exports, he writes instead today the Japanese Nikkei Asia. Prices have since fallen by almost 60%, with the US Department of Agriculture forecasting record global production levels of around 790 million tonnes for the marketing year starting in June 2024.

However, the news magazine continues, concerns about the global market remain. In July, Russia pulled out of the grain deal that had allowed Ukraine to safely export goods across the Black Sea, and Russia's growing presence in the global grain market has also raised alarm. Alarm also confirmed by the sector analyst at the Japanese milling company Nippn, Hideki Hattori , who declared: "Russian exports helped offset the decline in Ukrainian shipments, which brought down wheat prices, but Greater Russian influence on prices could pose risks in the future."

In response to the announcement, Nisshin Seifun Group and other major Japanese flour milling companies will consider reducing retail and/or wholesale wheat flour prices. But already Yamazaki Baking, which last July had increased the prices of sandwich bread and desserts, commented: "The costs of some raw materials remain high, so it is difficult to consider a price reduction."

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EFA News - European Food Agency