Food Price Hikes Forecast in Turkey after Currency Drop

As Turkey’s lira fell 12 percent in value last week, the price of essential items, including bread increased.

Turkish people on twitter say bread is now 4 liras, with fear that the price could go higher in the coming days. A loaf currently sells for between 1.25 and 2.5 liras depending on where it is purchased.

“It’s impossible for bakeries to sell bread with the same prices as before because 50 kilos of flour was 200 liras last week, but this week it’s 380 liras due to the new exchange rates,” Cihan Kolivar, chairman of the Bread Producers Employers Union in Turkey, told Al-Monitor.

New flour prices significantly diminished profits and most bakeries will need to increase prices to remain operational, Kolivar said.

Responding to the price-hike rumors, Halil Ibrahim Balci, president of the Turkish Bakers Federation said news that one loaf of bread costs 4-5 liras is not reflecting the truth.

“Flour prices, yeast prices, electricity, natural gas and water prices change every day, but this does not mean that we will leave our citizens without bread,” Balci.

According to the Turkish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Turkey imported about 10.8 million tons of wheat in the 2019-2020 season, about 65 percent of which came from Russia. In the first four months of 2021, Turkey’s wheat imports fell 24 percent.

“Politicians are blaming international food prices when they try to explain domestic food prices, but when we remove exchange rates from the equation, the pressure from international prices is not very high” and only a portion of what’s driving price increases, Eray Yucel, an economics instructor at Ankara’s Bilkent University said.

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