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Apr 9, 2008

Flour prices hold the line but pressures build

On yesterday’s newscast we looked at conditions in Belize’s poultry industry, noting that producers say it will be difficult to hold down prices in the face of increased costs of feed, fuel, and fertilizer. Tonight, after speaking with people involved in the production of flour and baked goods, it appears that higher prices are also only a matter of time. For bakers, while flour costs are holding the line, world wheat prices have shot up drastically and those pressures will at some point prove impossible to resist. Already Belize’s lower flour prices have caused large scale movement of flour across our borders. This has resulted in occasional shortages at some district outlets due to the hoarding and smuggling. According to Belize Mills Limited, a subsidiary of the multinational giant Archer Daniels Midland, in March they produced almost twenty-nine thousand hundred pound sacks of flour, over four thousand more than their average month. Most of that is believed to have wound up in Guatemala and Mexico. For commercial bakers, flour is only one of the concerns as other inputs such as eggs, oil, butane and diesel have also reached record highs. The Bakers Association met this afternoon to consider its options and is reportedly working with government to find a solution that will ease the pain for consumers.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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