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Japan to Raise Prices 30 Percent for Domestically Grown Wheat

July 2, 2008

By Kyodo News International, Tokyo

Jul. 1–TOKYO — Japanese wheat producers, milling firms and the farm ministry have agreed to a 30 percent jump in prices for the 2009 crop, sources close to the matter said Tuesday.

Next year’s domestic wheat prices will be raised in line with a 30 percent hike for imported wheat prices in April this year, they said. Japanese wheat is normally cheaper than imports because of its lower quality.

As a result of the latest accord, milling companies will raise their bid prices by 30 percent for the produce to be bought from Japanese farmers.

The effects of the higher prices will likely begin to be felt by consumers purchasing Japanese noodles and other wheat-based food from around summer next year, industry analysts say.

Japan relies on imports for most of the wheat it consumes.

Domestically grown wheat accounts for just 13 percent of total domestic consumption.

Prices are now trending upward across the world due to growing demand and poor harvests in Australia and other major wheat producers, which are attributed to global warming.

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Copyright (c) 2008, Kyodo News International, Tokyo

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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