The Japanese government plans to keep unchanged the average price at which it sells imported wheat to milling companies from October onward despite soaring inflation, an official with knowledge of the matter said Saturday.
The plan is aimed at easing the burden on households suffering from higher prices of wheat products such as bread and noodles on the back of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Both countries are leading producers of wheat.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is set to instruct officials to curb the wholesale price at a government task force to be held on Monday. The price could rise by 20 percent without government action, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The government raised its selling price of imported wheat by an average 17.3 percent in April to 72,530 yen ($540) per ton, the second-highest level since the current calculation methods were adopted in 2007, according to the farm ministry.
The government revises the price twice a year -- in April and October -- based on the average price of wheat that the government imported in the past six months.
Japan, which depends on overseas producers for about 80 percent of its domestic wheat consumption, imports the commodity in bulk as a country and then resells it to milling companies in order to ensure stable supply.
Kishida, who reshuffled his Cabinet on Wednesday, has vowed to stem soaring prices of essential items as many consumers have decried the heavier financial burden.
He said price stability is "crucial" during a meeting with operators of supermarkets and bread companies on Friday.