Restaurants in Singapore are selling soft, chewy chapatis because there is a scarcity of flour due to India's prohibition on wheat exports, which has been in effect since May. According to a media source on Tuesday, the price of imports of the same grade staple north Indian basic food material from other nations has increased by over three times.
According to supermarket chain FairPrice, there had been a shortage of wheat flour due to rising demand over the previous few weeks, probably as a result of the prohibition on wheat and flour coming from India. FairPrice's suppliers are sourcing wheat flour from numerous countries like Sri Lanka, Australia, Canada, and the United States, according to a report by The Straits Times.
"The (wheat) flour shortage will affect our business very badly. We cannot pass all the cost to our customers, we have to try and keep prices low," PTI mentioned Mathavan Adi Balakrishnan, managing director of Sakunthala's, one of the leading eateries in the Little India precinct, as saying.
The cost of wheat flour from Dubai is SGD 15 (USD 10.45) per kg, compared to the restaurant's previous cost of SGD 5 (USD 3.48) per kg for wheat flour from India.
According to reports from the UN, Singapore imports between 200,000 and 250,000 tonnes of wheat and between 100,000 and 120,000 tonnes of wheat flour each year. According to The Business Times, 5.8% of Singapore's total Imports
of wheat flour came from India in 2020.Further, the bulk of the city-state wheat flour imports appear from Australia, the US, and Canada.
Even while it only makes up a small part of all imports, wheat flour from India is sought after by Indian restaurants in our country because it makes soft and chewy chapati, an Indian staple.
"It will be a drastic change, especially for people like Punjabi workers who eat up to six chapatis per meal every day," said S. Mahenthiran, director of Gayatri, a popular restaurant in the Little India precinct of Singapore.
Mohd Saleem, its buying director, stated that due to the rise in freight prices, Mustafa customers could expect to pay more for flour. He made no mention of the size of the expected increase for customers.
Owner of the Punjabi and Bengali restaurant Mustard Singapore, Radhika Abbi, 51, said that if their current supplies of flour from India run out, many Indian restaurants in Singapore will suffer with rising pricing.