JOHOR BAHRU: The recent increase in the price of flour in Malaysia will likely trigger a chain effect, which will lead to an increase in the price of everyday items such as noodles, biscuits and bread, according to the actors of the industry.
People interviewed by CNA noted that the rise in flour prices in Malaysia can be attributed to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine as well as disruptions in the global wheat supply chain.
Mr. Chink Poh Cheng, chairman of the Johor Bakery, Biscuit, Confectionery and Noodles Merchants Association, told CNA that the price of flour has increased since March and is likely to increase further in the near future.
“Since the beginning of this year, the flour manufacturers have informed the leaders of the associations that the price of flour will increase,” Mr Chink said.
He said that in March, the price of a 25kg bag of wheat flour fell from RM47 (US$10.69) to RM52. The following month, the price went back up to RM57.50.
“They (suppliers) have confirmed that there will be another round of increases either in mid-June or early July,” he added.
According to Mr. Chink, Malaysia has seven flour mills that manufacture and supply wheat flour to the whole country. As the price of flour is controlled in Malaysia, flour manufacturers would have to get government approval before raising prices.
“This means that all food manufacturers, retailers using flour will also have no choice but to raise their prices,” he said.
“It affects hawkers, especially those who use noodles, bakeries as well as biscuit makers who source from these flour makers. Their production costs will increase, as will the prices of their products,” Mr. Chink said.
Mr. Lai Yee Kein, Chairman of the Malaysia Bakery, Biscuit, Confectionery, Mee and Kuey Teow Merchants’ Association, agreed that the increase in the price of flour will eventually lead to higher prices for various products.
He noted that nationally, the price of flour rose about 7% in March and another 11% in April. Mr Lai added that he had heard from wheat flour makers that there would likely be a further 3.5% increase in June.
“I think overall, many flour-based food products will soon be more expensive,” Lai said.