Bakery businesses across the Caribbean are braced for further price rises after Barbados and Jamaica became the latest nations to see the cost of flour rise by at least 30%.
In Barbados the government had given a (BBD)$501,000 (£125,000) emergency subsidy to ease the impact of increases in world wheat prices on consumers. But that arrangement came to an end on March 31.
Principal supplier ADM Bar-bados Mills decided to increase the price of flour by 30% from April 14. This followed similar recent rises in Trinidad, St Lucia, Grenada and Belize.
Commercial manager of the mill Cecil Hypolite told the Barbados Nation newspaper: "Based on what our principles are telling us, the price of wheat will continue to rise. We’re not seeing any let-up with the price rises right now."
Cheryl Reid, who runs Cherie’s Bakery and Deli, told the paper that, before the price increase, she recalled buyimg a 45kg bag of flour for around $40 (£10). "Now I’m paying about $71 (£18) for the same bag," she added.
Meanwhile, Jamaican bakers expressed fears that their sales could soon decline following a 32% rise in the cost of baking flour over five days.
Jamaica Flour Mills raised the cost of flour by 29% in early April and then added an additional 3% to take account of rising world prices.