Iranians are buying less bread since the government raised prices in mid-July for subsidized flour and allowed bakeries to charge more for all varieties of bread, Hamshahri newspaper reported on Monday.

Two weeks after prices increased from 12 to as high as 30 percent in some regions, industry insiders say people are buying 20-30 percent less bread, while for wage earners it is an important food item.

There are two kinds of bread producers in Iran, those who receive subsidized flour and have to abide by government prices and those who produce for the high-end market and are free to set their own prices.

Most people from working classes and wage earners buy the cheaper bread from subsidized bakeries, and those are the ones who now have to pay much more for one of the main staples in the Iranian diet.

Hamshahri reports that for a family of five the monthly bill for bread can be $20. This seems very low compared with Western countries, but many wage earners in Iran barely make $100 a month. The family must also pay rent, buy other basic foodstuff, and pay other expenses.

Annual inflation for food items is more than 60 percent in Iran and millions of families cannot afford meat and even chicken that has almost tripled in price.

Source » iranintl