Price of bread loaf doubles in Aden [Archives:2008/1131/Business & Economy]

February 21 2008

The People of Aden city were appalled to realize the price of the bread loaf has doubled, following a statement signed on by 16 major bakeries in Aden city, saying that the increase in the prices of wheat and overhead and labor costs made it unfeasible to continue retailing bread at the price of 10 Riyals, the bakers stated that the weight of the bread loaf will increase along with the price, in order not to harm the end consumer.

In retaliation, the office of the ministry of trade and industry in Aden stated that such an action is illegal, and that the office will prosecute any bakery which does not comply with the standard retail price of 10 Riyals. However, YemenTimes interviews several bakeries in aden and consumers to hear from them on the subject.

Abdullah Mansour, a bakery owner who is a part of the doubling the price campaign stated that the price of flour has increased from 2500 Riyals to 6300 Riyals since the price of the bread loaf was set at ten Riyals, coupled with the increase in the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas and the labor costs, he stated that they have appealed to the government and to the ministry of trade to find a solution for them otherwise they will have to shut down, however there was no response from the authorities.

He also added that this measure is a last resort and is jointly done by many bakeries, including others who have not signed the declaration or initially participated in the campaign, because every one of them will benefit and will be able to survive the increases in the price of wheat and flour.

When asked on the expected retaliation of the authorities, he said that is making both types of bread loaf, the 10 Riyal and the 20 Riyal as well, just in case, he says: “Local authorities are pirates, they don't care about the issue all they want is an opportunity to extract bribes and money from us”.

Another baker who requested not to be identified stated that people have been welcoming the new bread loaf, they understand that it is not our choice but is a result of price increases, plus now people will be able to buy a decent piece of bread to put on the dinner table.

Among the people, many persons were very disappointed because of the price increase, A respondent says that now as they doubled the price, they barely increased the weight of the bread by half or so, now it is a rip-off, I used to buy some 400 grams of bread for my 100 Riyals, but now I get some 300 grams, the price of flour didn't change between last week and now.

Another person said this whole thing is a joke, adding that the problem isn't in the bread, it is the value of the Riyal, which has become value less, during the last few years all prices have been increasing, and bread is no exception. He also added that other bakeries in other parts in the country will follow suit.

A lady who was shocked to find the price of bread doubling, said I used to buy 10 loafs for a 100 riyals, and make a sandwich for each of my four kids and have another six for dinner, now I need 200 Riyals per day, I don't know how we can cope with this increase.

The feeling overall was not very shocked regarding this move among the people, in fact many were expecting this to happen, the bakers have been saying they will increase the price, and the people considered this just to be another sad day for the city of Aden.