20th May 2022 - 2 min read
Roti canai – which is currently priced between RM1.20 and RM1.70 a piece – may soon cost more as the price of wheat flour is increasing. The product, which is a key ingredient in roti canai, is also reportedly low in supply within the country.
According to the president of the Malaysian Indian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (Presma), Jawahar Ali Taib Khan, the price of a 25kg sack of wheat flour has increased by more than 44%, from RM45 to RM65. “If this is not controlled, I am afraid there will be a slight increase in the price of wheat-based products by Presma’s 9,000 members,” he added.
Jawahar also said that this price hike in wheat flour has been happening for a while, even before India began to ban exports of its wheat. India – as the world’s second largest wheat producer – had recently implemented the ban to ensure its food security following a scorching heatwave, as well as to contain rising wheat prices within its country. This, in turn, caused wheat prices elsewhere to hike up due to a dwindling supply globally.
That said, Malaysia’s Ministry of Domestic Trade And Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) had stated that the wheat export ban would not affect the commodity’s supply in Malaysia. This is as 80% of wheat in the country is imported from Australia, while the rest is from the United States, Canada and Ukraine.
Despite this reassurance from KPDNHEP, Jawahar expressed his concern about wholesalers potentially hoarding wheat flour, which will further drive up the price of wheat flour in Malaysia. To tackle these issues, he urged the government to come up with solutions, such as allowing Malaysia to import wheat from more countries.
Meanwhile, the president of the Malaysian Indian Restaurant Owners Association (Primas), J Suresh stated that restaurants will be affected by the increase in the price of wheat. “Although restaurants have increased their prices recently, there is a possibility of a further price hike,” he said, adding that restaurants may have to look for alternatives to wheat flour if its price continues to climb.
(Source: Free Malaysia Today)
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