Japan Searches for New Wheat Varieties To Help Ramen Prices

Bloomberg reports that scientists in Japan are searching for new wheat varieties in order to reduce the need to import wheat, which has been keeping ramen prices too high.

Hakata ramen, a specialty of Japan’s southern island of Kyushu, is popular for its firm, chewy noodles made with high- protein wheat flour milled from grain grown in the U.S., Canada and Australia. Higher global prices have hit noodle sellers hard.

The solution may be just down the road, where scientists are testing new varieties of wheat in an effort to satisfy local tastes and reduce imports. The project is just one of the ways Japan is trying to lessen its reliance on overseas suppliers as commodity prices hover near record highs.

We’ve discussed commodity prices here before and we probably will again. While supplying more local wheat may not put a dent in the international commodity price for wheat, they will certainly save on the shipping costs, since, as the crow flies, it is 6184.65 (9952.95 km) miles from Wichita to Tokyo.