Bread prices rise on higher wheat costs

A bread vendor on Kisumu-Busia highway

A bread vendor on Kisumu-Busia highway.

Photo credit: Tom Otieno | Nation Media Group

The cost of bread has gone up again by between Sh5 and Sh8 as bakers make a fresh attempt to pass the additional cost in price of wheat to consumers.

The price rise comes at a time when households are grappling with increased prices of basic commodities.

The price had gone up in January by the same margin, but bakers were forced to beat a retreat after getting stiff competition from supermarkets, which maintained a lower cost on their in-house brands.

A 400 gramme loaf of Superloaf bread is now retailing at Sh55 from Sh50 previously with 800 grammes of Festive brand selling at Sh100 from Sh92.

“We are getting bread at Sh45 from wholesalers and selling the same at Sh55 following the recent adjustments by bakers,” said James Ng’ang’a, a trader in Nairobi.

Bread is a common staple on breakfast tables across the country, meaning that any price increase is keenly felt especially at a time when the cost of milk has also gone up.

Mr Bimal Shah, the managing director of Broadway Group of Companies, said the increase was inevitable as Kenya relies on global market for up to75 per cent of her total requirement.

A tonne of wheat has risen to Sh34,240 from Sh25,300 last year, sparking a rally both on bakers and standard flour.

“Since last year, we have witnessed a significant increase in cost of wheat and this, coupled with high cost of other ingredients has necessitated the price increase on bread,” said Mr Shah.

The rising cost of wheat flour adds to an already expensive shopping basket for consumers as prices of other basic items such as milk have gone up.

Inflation, which is a measure of change in the cost of living, rose to 5.9 per cent in March from 5.78 percent in February, according to statistics agency.