Wheat shortage causing bread prices to rise
HAVE you noticed your grocery bill is higher than normal recently?
You might want to check the price of your bread - it's likely not what it used to be.
The continuing drought and a particularly bad summer season for grain growers has seen a severe shortage of wheat in the Australian market.
This has led to higher prices on wholesale flour which filters down to the consumer.
Sweet Valley Bakery, Laidley, owner Drew Ogden said while supplies of flour were still good, the price had gone up at least 15 per cent in recent months.
"(Our supplier) told us the only place in Australia that has got wheat is WA and they're exporting it,” Mr Ogden said.
With limited supply in the domestic market, many flour suppliers are turning to overseas markets.
"At the moment they're outsourcing all their wheat from New Zealand,” he said.
"There's not great deal of difference in the quality, it's just the price.”
The increased costs have made price rises on finished goods inevitable.
"All the bakeries I know have had to do price increases on their products.”
Mr Ogden said his customers were understanding of the price rise because the bakery had made it well known what was happening.
"Everyone knew exactly how much it was going up and the reason why it was going up,” he said. "The customers were happy because they understood why.”
With a dry winter ahead and the chances of rain diminishing, the high prices look likely to continue.
"It's up in the air for everyone I think,” Mr Ogden said. "As soon as out west gets rain and we get wheat then the price will go back to normal.”