Food prices will continue to surge in Japan in the first four months of 2023, with those of more than 7,000 items set to climb on the back of rising logistics and personnel, as well as high material costs, according to a recent survey by a credit research company.
Prices for a total of 7,152 items are expected to climb from January to April, and be priced 18 percent higher on average from the current level, up from the 14 percent gain from last year to this year, according to Teikoku Databank Ltd. data released Wednesday.
The pace of the increases will be 1.5 times higher than that for the same period this year, as a rapid weakening of the yen against other major currencies, such as the U.S. dollar, sharply lift the costs for imported food and beverage products.
As of the end of November, 4,425 food items were set to become more expensive in the first quarter of 2023, but companies decided to up the price on more items over the following three weeks.
Around 60 percent of the 7,152 items are estimated to see its prices increase in February, which would be the second "price hike rush" after the cost of nearly 7,000 items were raised in October, the survey said.
"Rising cost pressures have not been resolved, and in the food sector, which is close to consumers, prices are not passed on to customers sufficiently," a Teikoku Databank official said.
The official forecasts that price hikes will continue to take place intermittently.
The costs of 20,822 items were lifted in 2022 after the government raised its selling price of imported wheat in April, while those of products made mainly from cooking oil and soy beans also soared.
A wide range of items have experienced price hikes since August as rising oil prices have raised logistics costs. The trend was further accelerated by the rapid depreciation of the yen.
The survey compiled pricing data from 105 listed manufacturers in the food and beverage industry.