The price of 250 grams of bread in Izmir city has increased to 1.5 lira (0.25 USD) – a 25 kurus price increase. This follows in the footsteps of Ankara, which also increased the price of bread from 1 lira to 1.25 lira for 200 grams of bread recently.
Speaking to Turkish news agency IHA, Izmir Bakers’ Federation President Nejdet Durmus said that they have done their best to keep the price the same for the last two years, as they took the residents into consideration, but the hike in the cost of bread was unavoidable.
“What products have not increased in Turkey, except bread, over the last two years? As of April 29, the price of 250 grams of bread will be 1.5 lira, and 200 grams of bread will be sold at 1.25 lira,” Durmus announced.
Durmus also stated that the last bread price increase in the city was in 2017. Since then, one sack of flour has increased by 36 percent to 95 lira. One kilogram of yeast was 3.47 lira but increased to 5.80 lira – a 67 percent hike.
In addition to those costs, labor costs jumped by approximately 46 percent, electricity by 18.5 percent, water by 45 percent, and diesel by 80 percent. The Baker’s Federation President announced that the price of 300 gram of special Ramadan bread will be 2.5 lira in the bakeries.
The bread price increase will have a huge negative effect in Turkey, as the main staple food for Turkish people is bread.
Turkey used to be self-sufficient in food production but is struggling with an alarming agricultural decline over the last few years as the country largely stopped its agricultural and animal production, and now imports basic foods.
As a result of the lira’s sharp decline against foreign currencies, year-on-year food inflation has soared to nearly 30 percent. Food Inflation in Turkey averaged 10.30 percent from 2004 until 2019, reaching an all-time high of 30.97 percent in January of 2019, and a record low of 1.38 percent in April of 2016, Trade Economics reported.
Turkey’s ruling AKP tried to reduce the high vegetable prices before elections by setting up stalls (Tanzim sales through AKP’s municipalities) to sell grocery items at 50 percent lower than market prices. The government’s discount markets didn’t work as the AKP lost votes in major cities and the greengrocers opposed the municipalities’ interference to the free market.
As the vegetable prices in Turkey have soared to a 20-year high this season, the onion prices in the Turkish market hiked up to nearly 10 Turkish liras per kg, and, for the first time, Turkey has allowed limited amounts of potatoes to be imported from Syria to curb astronomical prices.