Packaging materials price hike shocks millers

MILLERS will on Wednesday meet with packaging material manufacturers after the latter raised their prices by over 500%, sparking fears of another round of increases for flour, mealie-meal and bread.

BY FREEMAN MAKOPA

“Not only have they increased the prices by, in some instances, 700%. But they are also demanding their payments in foreign currency and this is the reason why we have arranged this meeting with them so that we deliberate on the implications to consumers,” said Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe general manager, Lynette Veremu.

“We have also invited to the meeting South African companies which are also in the packaging material manufacturing business so that we share and exchange views, all in an effort to find a workable solution that does not affect the already burdened consumer, whom all the costs are extended to.”

The same meeting would also review the impact of the lifting by government of the import restrictions on the milling industry.

Among the new prices charged by the packaging manufacturers were as follows: one loaf bread packaging plastic US$0,22 from $0,03; 5kg mealie-meal US$0,37 from $0,20; 10kg US$0,60 from $0,37; 20kg US$0,89 from $0,40 and 50kg US$1,20 from $0,56.

Polypropylene, which was at $1,34 bond or RTGS is now charged at US$2,76 while laminating plastic, which was $2/5kg is now at US$6/kg.