lundi, 04 mars 2024
AccueilA la uneWheat flour: The government may have granted a subsidy of FCFA 30...

Wheat flour: The government may have granted a subsidy of FCFA 30 billion to millers in 2022, but this has not prevented the price of a loaf of bread from rising

However, according to Cyril Edou Alo'o, Director General of the Budget at the Ministry of Finance (Minfi), the government measure has stabilised the price of a 200 gram baguette and a 50 kg bag of wheat flour over the past year.

(EcoFinances) – In 2022, the State subsidised millers to the tune of more than FCFA 30 billion so that the price of wheat would not rise, according to Cyril Edou Alo’o, Director General of the Budget at the Minfi (Ministry of Finance), in an interview granted to Cameroon tribune, but reprinted in the 2022-2023 edition of « Dossiers du Minfi » published in recent days.  In the interview, the Budget Minister answers questions about the government’s efforts in recent months to limit the impact of the high cost of living on households.

According to him, the reason why the price of bread did not increase during the previous financial year was because of the CFAF 30 billion injected by the State into the wheat milling sector in Cameroon. This is not necessarily true, however, when it comes to changes in the price of bread and wheat flour, which rose by 20% and 26.3% respectively in 2022.

« You have the price of bread, which has not risen, because the State has subsidised millers to the tune of more than FCFA 30 billion to keep the price of wheat down. These are concrete measures aimed at supporting the purchasing power of Cameroonians », he declared, pointing out that the State spent more than 700 billion CFA francs last year just to support the price of petroleum products at the pump.

The price of bread and wheat flour did indeed rise in 2022

Even if the head of the Budget was a little mistaken about the (upward) variation in the price of a baguette of bread last year and of wheat flour, it is nonetheless true that State support for the wheat processing sector last year helped to stabilise the price of these two products, which are heavily consumed in households.

The truth is that the price of 200 gram loaves of bread did indeed increase by 25 FCFA in 2022, rising from 125 FCFA to 150 FCFA as of 17 March of the same year, according to a decision by the Minister of Trade, Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana, following consultations on 15 March with millers and bakers’ unions. The same applies to the price of a 50kg bag of wheat flour, which has risen from CFAF 19,000 to CFAF 24,000.

Fortunately, the price of wheat flour and baguettes did not remain at these high levels throughout the first half of the 2023 financial year. The reason for this is that the Minister of Trade succeeded in negotiating and obtaining (from 1 June 2023) from millers and bakers a small notable reduction in the price of these various products. This is due to the reduced impact of the Russian-Ukrainian war on wheat prices this year.

Since then, the price of a 200-gram baguette has risen to 135 FCFA in the country’s bakeries, compared with 150 FCFA in 2022. A 50 FCFA bag of wheat flour is now sold at 22,500 FCFA (ex-factory price in Douala), compared with 24,000 FCFA last year. However, this is still high compared with prices before the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, which began on 24 February 2022.

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