Fresh mealie meal, bread price hike looms

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By Staff Reporter

GRAIN millers held an emergency meeting Tuesday morning to consider another round of price increases for mealie meal and bread, can report.

This comes after the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) Monday increased the prices of maize and wheat to millers by 41% and 15% respectively.

The price of maize rose from ZW$53 000 per tonne to ZW$75 per tonne while that of wheat went up from ZW$56 000 to ZW$66 000.

This is set to have a knock-on effect on the retail price of mealie meal and bread. understands that members of the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) called for a virtual emergency meeting which started at 11:30am to decide the percentages by which they will increase the prices of mealie meal and wheat.

Sources said the new price of mealie meal will be announced soon after the Tuesday meeting while that of bread will be announced by Friday.

“They are in a meeting right now and are likely to announce the new price by end of day today. The price of bread is likely to go up by Friday,” a source close to proceedings said.

Sources in the sector said the increase in the price of mealie meal is likely to push the cost of other basic commodities up.

A source said millers have been failing to buy maize from GMB for the past two weeks as GMB was withholding the crop, only to come back with the new prices.

“Basically, millers have no choice but pass on the cost. The GMB spent almost two weeks declining to sell maize and wheat, only for them to come up with the new prices. Millers went for two weeks without restocking and there are fears the country may experience shortages over the Easter holidays,” the source said.

There have already been two hikes this year, the latest of which occurred on March 10.

GMB public relations manager Joseph Katete requested for written questions to be sent to him via email.

He had however not responded by the time of publication.

The price hike also comes at a time inflation has risen exponentially over the two weeks, with the United States dollar now trading at 1:240 on the parallel market.

GMAZ chairman Tafadzwa Musarara was not reachable for comments.

Last month, Maize meal retail price for the 10kg roller meal will increased by 15 percent from ZW$955 to ZW$1 099. Bread flour also went up by 14,74% from ZW$ 119 000 to ZW$136 544 per metric tonne.