Consumers are getting hit in the breadbasket as tight flour supplies push bakers’ costs higher, reports the Los Angeles Times. Wheat crop failures, the weak US dollar and more farmers growing corn for ethanol instead of grain have more than doubled the price of a 50-pound bag of flour to $27. And it could go to $60 this year.
Wheat has risen 31% this year, pushing bread and cereal prices up 1.8% in February, the largest gain since 1975. US bakers marched in Washington last week to bring attention to their plight. Many want the US to slap export fees on US-grown wheat to make it less attractive overseas and, hopefully, keep the price down at home.