Food prices will continue to rise in Japan in the first four months of 2023, with more than 7,000 items set to increase in price due to rising logistics and labor costs, as well as high material costs, according to a recent survey by Credit Research Firm.
Prices for a total of 7,152 items are expected to rise from January to April, averaging 18 percent higher than current levels, up from a 14 percent increase from last year to this year, according to data from Teikoku Databank Ltd.
The pace of the rise will be 1.5 times faster than the same period this year as a rapid weakening of the yen against other major currencies such as the US dollar pushes the cost of imported food and beverage products sharply.
According to late November, 4,425 groceries were expected to increase in price in the first quarter of 2023, but companies decided to increase the price of more items in the following three weeks.
It’s estimated that around 60 percent of the 7,152 items will increase their prices in February, which would be the second “price hike rush” after the cost of nearly 7,000 items increased in October, according to the survey.
“Increasing cost pressures have not been resolved, and in the consumer food sector, prices are not sufficiently passed on to customers,” said a Teikoku database contributor.
The official forecasts that price increases will continue to take place intermittently.
Costs for 20,822 items were lifted in 2022 after the government hiked the retail price of imported wheat in April, while prices of products made mostly from cooking oil and soybeans also rose sharply.
A wide range of items have seen price increases since August as rising oil prices have increased logistics costs. The development was accelerated by the rapid devaluation of the yen.
The survey collected pricing data from 105 listed manufacturers in the food and beverage industry.