Coffee, Cooking Oil, Sugar…Waves of Food Price Hikes Roll Across Japan

Coffee, Cooking Oil, Sugar…Waves of Food Price Hikes Roll Across Japan
Yomiuri Shimbun: コーヒー・食用油・砂糖…食料高騰、国内に波及, January 29, 2011

The international prices of agricultural commodities have risen dramatically, forcing the cost of domestic food products to rise in turn.

Since the end of last year, coffee, cooking oil, and sugar prices have risen successively. Greatly increased demand from developing countries coupled with worldwide supply imbalances and currents of quantitative easing in capital markets are all thought to be causes. There is concern that in the midst of depressed consumption, the shift of rising ingredient costs onto consumers will be hard not only on family budgets but also on company ledgers.

The large chain Starbucks Coffee Japan announced on January 28 that the price of its popular Short Size Coffee would increase by ¥10-20 on February 15. Coffee bean prices have risen by 60% over the last year to their highest level since July 2008.

Soybeans, a basic ingredient in cooking oil, have become 50% more expensive over the last year. Nisshin OilliO Group and J-Oil Mills raised product prices 15% this year. As this oil is an ingredient in other products like mayonnaise and salad dressing, one seasoning maker expressed concern that the consequences will spread across the food market.

食用油・砂糖…食料高騰 Japanese Food Price Increases
Coffee: The price of Starbucks’s Short Size Coffee will rise ¥10 to ¥300. The price of UCC Ueshima Coffee Company’s Regular Coffee has risen 20% since March.
Cooking Oil: The Nisshin OilliO Group and J-Oil Mills raised the prices of their products 10% last October and 15% this January.
Sugar: Mitsui Sugar Company raised its prices by 6 yen per kilogram in October and ¥7/kg in November.
Wheat: The government will raise prices in April.

農産物の国際価格が急騰し、国内でも食料品の価格が上昇し始めている。

昨年末からコーヒーや食用油、砂糖が相次いで値上げされた。新興国での需要の急拡大で、世界的な需給バランスが崩れていることに加え、金融緩和で市場にあふれた資金が商品市場に流れ込むなど、投機的な要因も見られる。消費不況の中では、原材料価格の上昇分を商品価格へ転嫁するのは難しく、家計に加え企業業績への影響も懸念される。

コーヒーチェーン大手のスターバックスコーヒージャパンは28日、売れ筋のショート(最小)サイズの価格を2月15日から10~20円値上げすると発表した。コーヒー豆の相場が、この1年間で6割以上も上昇したためで、値上げは2008年7月以来となる。

1年間で約5割値上がりした大豆などを原料とする食用油でも、日清オイリオグループなど大手2社が今月、一部商品の卸売価格を15%値上げした。食用油はマヨネーズやドレッシングの原材料で、「食品業界に影響が広がる可能性がある」(大手調味料メーカー)との懸念も強まっている。

(読売新聞 1月29日)

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