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Japan to raise prices of imported wheat by 19%

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Wheat is expected to trade at 713.41 USD/BU by the end of this FY quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations, with estimations for it to trade at 825.59 USD in 12 months time. Wheat prices have been pressured by tightening global supplies, with the US Department of Agriculture cutting its forecast of global 2021-22 wheat production and ending stocks, citing poor weather in Russia, Canada and the US. Meantime, the consultancy Sovecon slashed its forecast for Russia's 2021 wheat crop to 75.4 million tonnes from 76.2 million amid low spring wheat yields. In addition, concerns that this year’s rain-hit French crop will have disappointingly low quality continue to mount.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

So food basically rises 19% and wages not even 000.01%. And the government response?…..waiting…still waiting. That’s right articulate 9 is of more importance than food or wages.

12 ( +19 / -7 )

time to get a gluten allergy

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Just bought 25 kg of Canadian wholewheat flour @ about ¥8,000. That lasts for about three months.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

China should be growing it's own wheat to meet it's domestic demand and leave the rest of the world alone.

China has plenty of land and resources so why is it eating up the world food basket??

5 ( +15 / -10 )

Mark.....

China should be growing it's own wheat to meet it's domestic demand and leave the rest of the world alone.

So should Japan. Only 37% of the calories consumed in Japan are produced here.

China grows more than 85% of the grains it consumes.

14 ( +19 / -5 )

Very sad news

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Hokkaido flour is also good but can not meet the demand.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Japanese govt should order a ramp up of all grain production at all farms over the next 5 years. Japan should aim to be at least 50% food production sufficient, with China consuming more and more resources by the year.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

This is another example of the censored news related to the climate emergency. "Unfavorable weather", the writer here names it, when there is factual data about the impacts of human induced climate change on food production. Only need to look at maps of the shifting agriculture zones in North America to know the future crop production of key staples looks bleak and people in the middle and lower classes should expect to pay a much higher percentage of their incomes for social reproduction from now, especially with the spiral down pressure on wages.

Industrial agricultural practices are also not mentioned in this article. These include too much tilling and over-use of fertilizers to compensate for soil nutrient deplenishment, which lead in the long-term to lower yields, are also not mentioned in this article.

Isn't the purpose of journalism to inform the public?

4 ( +13 / -9 )

Of course, *domestic corporations will use this as an excuse to raise prices on even domestic products**.*

“Since flour mills usually hold about 3 months' worth of inventory,…”

… retail price increases will not hit consumers until around January next year, the ministry said.

Of the five imported wheat brands, three are from the US used to make bread, Chinese noodles, and confectionery, one from Canada to make bread, and one from Australia to make udon noodles.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

After the November elections, … of course.

retail price increases will not hit consumers until around January next year, the ministry said.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

@warispeace

In case you are looking for some actual data. "Our World in Data" has some great graphs on yield changes since 1961 of major crops for countries and regions. A pretty steady increase in everything, everywhere for the past 60 years.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

@Fighto! The government doesn't actually grow any grain; farmers do and their production is linked to market demands.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Those price rises will be rounded up to the nearest multiple of 10.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

@Fighto! The government doesn't actually grow any grain; farmers do and their production is linked to market demands.

The government sets the prices.

They can certainly encourage production, through incentives like tax breaks, cash subsidies etc. JA can work towards helping farmers increase production.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Sure, why not raise it to over 700%, like in the case of imported rice.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

@Fighto! Actually the world market sets the price. The climate in Japan is good for rice but bad for high quality cereals.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@ Pukey2 Today 09:38 am JST

Rice? Looks like the increase in price internationally comes in at #10 of all traded commodities, at an 8.01% increase YTD (13.22/cwt). Coffee comes in at # 1, at 44.72% YTD (185.60/lb). Lumber is last at -40.77% (517.10 per 1K board feet). All of the above in USD current as of late this last week.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

international market prices have soared due to robust demand from China for livestock feed and poor production in North America caused by unfavorable weather.

wheat is pretty sensitive in a climate changed world

better diversify your food sources

or buy in bulk online from Canada et al

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Japanese govt should order a ramp up of all grain production at all farms over the next 5 years. Japan should aim to be at least 50% food production sufficient, with China consuming more and more resources by the year.

Excellent idea, it sounds a bit like the great leap forward.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I don't mind if they rise prices even 100% as I don't eat any wheat products.

Vegetables, fruits guys, eventually some meat. Try to eat healthy instead of that carbo bread etc.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

They’ve been doing this in a really sneaky way, making a breakfast roll that cost ¥120

get smaller and smaller, then selling 2 tiny rolls, for twice the price, when the two of them together is still smaller than the original.

Do they actually think the public is unaware of this trickery?

This isn’t climate change or any other rational reason- It’s greed, pure and simple.

It needs to stop.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Udon is the cheapest food in Japan, so this is bad news. I didn't realize wheat was used as animal feed, I thought that was maize and soy. It's sobering to think the price you'll pay for your food is affected by the price someone else will pay to feed it to an animal. Ultimately that's the way the world works.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

And the price of Japanese rice will remain unchanged?

Why, it's almost as if someone was in the business of pandering to the Japanese agricultural lobby.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

would you like to try a sweet potato?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Wheat can not be grown in all prefectures.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

skeptical:

My mistake. The 700% for rice refers to taxes............which makes it even worse.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Japan imports wheat by tender.

Japanese wheat imports are dominated by the US (2.8 million tonnes, 50% of total Japanese imports), Canada (1.7 million tonnes, 31% total) and Australia (890 thousand tonnes, 16% total).

Imports were slightly decreasing until last year which saw a 3% increase because of the pandemic more people were doing home baking.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Proxy, Fighto is correct. JA and the government pay farmers not to grow crops so as to allow them to control the price of commodities. There are so many rice fields that have been left fallow, because the farmers make as much money doing nothing. They could easily grow wheat or some other grain crop to allow Japan to up its food self sufficiency rate!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Japanese govt should order a ramp up of all grain production at all farms over the next 5 years. Japan should aim to be at least 50% food production sufficient, with China consuming more and more resources by the year.

People supporting this view should look into why Japan's food self-sufficiency took a dive from the post-war era and the Japanese government's role in that process.

After all that the Japanese government has done to discourage productive farming, it's a little unrealistic to expect the Japanese people themselves to get enthusiastic about farming on a scale that would make 50% self-sufficiency a realistic goal.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

So your ¥800 yen bowl of Ramen will cost ¥803 and snows Box of Pokey sticks will cost ¥113.

Sounds fine to me.

Orefer deflationary situations but no probs

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Japan to raise prices of imported wheat by 19%

So it will be similar to imported rice? Officially the price will go up because of XYZ, but unofficially it will be because of supporting local farmers. By doing this, local farmers will raise the price of their products and so it will end up like it has happened many times and for example it is happening with beef - people will buy less local product. This will lead to a drop in profits and therefore to a rise in prices again.

According to the ministry's calculations, the price hike will be passed on to consumers at a markup of 2.3 yen for a loaf of bread, 1.4 yen for a bowl of "udon" noodles, and 1 yen for a bowl of Chinese noodles. Soft flour for home use is expected to rise by 14.1 yen per kilogram.

Yeah... No. No one believes that anymore, unless they've only lived here for a few years. What will happen is that the price will increase disproportionately. No more, no less. These calculations are always ridiculous and never come true.

Since flour mills usually hold about three months' worth of inventory, retail price increases will not hit consumers until around January next year, the ministry said.

Now, this made me laugh. Let me give you an example. A farmer plants cucumbers in year 1, for example. In year 2 he harvests (he would have harvested the cucumbers earlier, but for clarity). So some of the product is already on sale in the shops. Some of it matures at the farmer's place, but most of it is simply already sold. In the same year, i.e. year 2, a typhoon comes and destroys his crop. What happens to the cucumbers that are already grown and on sale? Here in Japan, they get more expensive with the argument that after all, it's a typhoon so it's more expensive. And nobody here finds that strange. So in this case, selling prices will increase almost at the same time as the price of imported wheat increases. And it doesn't matter that the product on sale was bought at the previous price, produced before the price increase, etc.

These erratic actions of our government often remind me of the planned economy of most socialist countries, where a group of officials simply planned selling prices a year in advance and completely ignored external influences on the price of goods.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Thank you for that information @proxy 9:06am: “In case you are looking for some actual data…

- "Our World in Data" has some great graphs on yield changes since 1961 of major crops for countries and regions.

A pretty steady increase in everything, everywhere for the past 60 years.” -

https://ourworldindata.org/ -
-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The wheat price increases have nothing to do with protecting local farmers. Japan can not grow all the wheat it consumes.

Rice and wheat are very different. Japan grows all the rice it needs.

The global weather and other factors have reduced wheat yields.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I love deflation.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

At Snow: do you predict your favorite sweets like Pokey will go up in price too? Are those made from wheat or rice?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Might need a few more farmers.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Japanese govt should order a ramp up of all grain production at all farms over the next 5 years. Japan should aim to be at least 50% food production sufficient, with China consuming more and more resources by the year.

already tried that and it was costing the Japan taxpayer over 5trillion yen in subsidies every year, Fine if J farmers want to grow whatever they want, why should the taxpayer have to subsidies them just so they can be profitable. Japan has never been close to 100% food self efficient in the last 100yrs and most probably never will be , if they wish to sell their exports to other countries tariff free then they need to do the same with other countries food imports. Japan has good allies in Australia NZ US Canada that exports huge amounts of agricultural goods, they wont let Japan go hungry, dont worry. As far as prices go its a free market, if China is prepared to pay the market rate then why should they be barred from buying these imports

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Might need a few more farmers.

might need more farmers that are competitive and not rely of taxpayer subsidies to stay afloat

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Gluten free's the way to be!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The young Japanese don’t want to do the low paid jobs and farming is a tough job.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The writers of the article seem to have just attended the press conference from the government and did not care to check the facts in the English media. Just trust the government. Definitely wrong to do as a quick Google search brings up multiple sites that confirm wheat supply is actually increasing globally.

Overall, crop production is expected to increase due to positive weather conditions in the EU, the U.S., the UK, Pakistan, Brazil, Egypt, China, India and Argentina. This record level of production will help keep global grain stockpiles high. 

Global demand for wheat in 2021 should reach a record level primarily due to increased demand in South Asia for food products containing wheat. Consumer food preferences in both India and China have shifted toward wheat products and thus driven up demand.

Bioethanol production should additionally cause the market for wheat to grow. Another key factor will be the increased demand for antiseptics arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here is the link to the source I read. https://www.globaltrademag.com/wheat-harvest-is-expected-to-increase-globally-but-prices-continue-to-rally-on-inflationary-expectations/

So the reason for wheat prices to rise is because of simple supply and demand economics. Demand is outstripping the supply even though the supply is increasing!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I don't know about other prefectures, but it seems that in Chiba a lot of farmers are giving up on growing grains in favour of producing electricity. I assume it is the farmers doing this as the only people allowed to purchase and own agricultural land in Japan are farmers who have been farmers for several years.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

These ridiculous government interventions in agricultural markets should be abolished.

In Japan and elsewhere where they still haven’t.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Traveling a lot all over Japan monthly I see lots of farms turned into solar farms. Never ever see wheat.

In actuality, global warming will allow for even more wheat and corn production in the northern parts of norther hemisphere. That is a plus for everyone.

Corn is amazing. It is not just used as cow feed and for corn syrup. Has thousands of uses.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

These ridiculous government interventions in agricultural markets should be abolished.

In Japan and elsewhere where they still haven’t.

I would like to ever see one of these capitalist free market corporate actors like subsidy receiving farmers, Dentsu, JTB, banks that need bailouts and restaurant and hotel owners receiving subsidies say: We believe in the free market! Freedom and prosperity! So we are refusing your government free money from the hard earning taxpayers! Take that government interventionists!!!!

Yeah, that is never going to happen.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

China has plenty of land and resources so why is it eating up the world food basket??

A major problem for China is that it doesn't have enough arable land to feed its population. It is, in fact, losing farmland to desertification in the north, which is China's wheat growing region. The south is too wet for wheat. China has been buying farmland in places like Argentina to grow crops with which to feed its population.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

year 2, a typhoon comes and destroys his crop. What happens to the cucumbers that are already grown and on sale? Here in Japan, they get more expensive with the argument that after all, it's a typhoon so it's more expensive. And nobody here finds that strange. 

Not so strange. If you are a merchant, what you sell today has to pay for what you intend to buy next week. If you know the cost of cucumbers is going to rise and what you will need to buy next week will be more expensive, you immediately raise the price on cucumbers you are selling today so you have enough cash on hand for your next purchase. I used to ask the same questions years ago when I was delivering gasoline and a gas station owner explained to me how it works. It is not all a grand plot. The retail merchants typically operate on very small margins and are expected to pay for products upon delivery. Often the money is taken directly from their accounts through electronic funds transfer.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Osaka_Doug Not all wheat is the same and the functionality of the flour from those differences is really different. Spring wheats, typically used for nice fluffy loaves is short, winter wheat for crackers has more supply.

Durum wheat is in very short supply and demand has increased significantly. The run up in semolina and durum prices to reflect the tight, tight supply will mean that some folks will just not be able to afford the increase at their local supermarket and will have to make other choices and settle for flat breads etc. instead.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is not really news, from a Japanese perspective. A single yen or two for something people buy quite often? The only thing that's news about this is the Japanese government's failure to import enough wheat to keep the prices down. Those who complain should live in North America where the devastating droughts of the year have cut yields down to 10-30% of normal. It's a bad year. Nothing but.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

And if you're a wine freak like me, try buying a decent California Zinfandel from Napa Valley. Good freakin' luck! Who cares about bread? It's bad for you.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Time to go back to an Edo period diet.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Fighto!: "Japanese govt should order a ramp up of all grain production at all farms over the next 5 years. Japan should aim to be at least 50% food production sufficient, with China consuming more and more resources by the year."

Yeah, right, when the farmers earn more by doing nothing but getting handouts from a government that already gives them too much. If they REALLY wanted to farmers to get off their butts and do more, they cut subsidies and lower tariffs, to increase competition. Then set up a system to help new farmers start up -- first by buying the land the old farmers have left to seed because it's easier to collect said handouts and let protectionism pay for anything they DO bother to grow.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

And by the way, what constitutes a "Loaf" of bread, just out of curiosity? Three slices, five, or six?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Wheat growing in Japan

https://stats-japan.com/t/kiji/10674

0 ( +0 / -0 )

China has plenty of land and resources so why is it eating up the world food basket??

Because it would rather build weapons and navy ships and fighter jets to back up it's territorial expansion plans.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The US and Canada export about the same amount of wheat. Russia is the world's single largest exporter of wheat.

Canadian farmers prefer to grow canola, which is more profitable.

For the last sixty years American farm production in the Midwest has been artificially high, due to the unsustainable use of groundwater, the overuse of artificial fertilizer, and the over utilization of topsoil. Much of the groundwater took thousands of years to accumulate, but it will be used up in less than a century. The overuse of fertilizers is resulting in large dead zones in the oceans off the coasts of the US. The American Midwest will have to reduce its production of grains unless an alternative source of fresh water can be found.

According to a study reported by National Public Radio, one third of the cropland in the American upper Midwest has completely lost its topsoil, due to shortsighted farming practices.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So, food prices will go up drastically because the govnt needs tax income. Well, someone has to pay for all the "free" vaccines that are pushed on people. No free lunch.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's just Japan being it's usual protectionist self.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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