September 29, 2008

Price Hikes to Hit Japan Households in Oct.

Tokyo, Sept. 29 (Jiji Press)--Prices of some foods and other products, and utility charges are set to be raised in Japan in October, putting additional pressure on households in the nation.

Sapporo Breweries Ltd., a unit of Sapporo Holdings Ltd. , will raise the prices of 33 wine products by 11 to 14 pct due to rising prices of imported grape juice.

Marusan-Ai Co. , a food and beverage maker based in Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture, central Japan, will lift the prices of 11 soy milk products by some 12 pct in the first markup in 17 years.

Millers plan to raise the prices of their professional-use wheat flour in late October because of a planned 10 pct hike in the prices of wheat imported by the government for sale to the private sector.

Some instant noodle and bread producers are cautious about raising their product prices repeatedly, but may find it difficult to keep the prices unchanged. An official of a major confectionery maker pointed out that prices of raw materials other than flour are also rising.

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. , which is set to rename itself Panasonic Corp. on Wednesday, and some other consumer electronics makers will raise the prices of refrigerators and air conditioners following surging copper and steel prices.

Nichiban Co. will lift cellophane tape prices, and Kokuyo Co. will hike copy paper prices.

Among utility firms planning to hike their charges in October are Chubu Electric Power Co. , Hokuriku Electric Power Co. and Tokyo Gas Co. .END

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