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.





(読売新聞 1月29日)

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