DTI appeals to bakers not to hike bread prices
The Department of Trade and Industry is asking bakers to hold off from increasing the prices of loaf bread and pan de sal if flour prices do not increase next month.
In an interview with reporters, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo said flour millers had given their assurance that flour prices would remain stable, at least this month.
“If flour prices don’t increase, and our expectation is that it won’t increase in the coming month, we’re hoping that bakers will not increase bread prices as well,” he said.
Last month, Philippine Baking Industry Group president Walter Co said it was “likely” that bakers would be raising prices of bread products this month due to higher flour prices.
He said the current price of flour ranged from P920-P940 per 25-kilogram bag, hovering dangerously close to the all-time high price of P980 a bag recorded in 2008.
This price range, he said, was too high for bakers to continue bearing for long.
But Victorio Mario Dimagiba, director of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Bureau of Trade Regulation and Consumer Protection, said this was still within the “reasonable” range.
In an earlier interview, he said the expectation that world wheat prices would start to go down in April did not materialize, which then caused flour prices to stay above the P900-a-bag level.
World wheat prices declined in March, but this downward trend was not sustained the following month, as expected, he explained. Instead, wheat prices rebounded in April. In May, while prices went down, these had not gone down enough to cause local flour prices to fall.
Right now, world wheat prices are again moving up.
Meanwhile, Domingo said some increases in commodity prices, particularly those of vegetables, meat, and poultry, were temporary and were likely fueled by a shift in demand due to the fishkill.
Prices should stabilize in the next two weeks, he said.
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