Wild swings
in food prices
Variation from 23 percent decrease

to 42 percent increase

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Prices of around 80 percent of 42 food products monitored by the Ministry of Economy and Trade (MoET) have increased since mid-October.

Half of the increases were above ten percent, some items, such as zucchini and tomatoes, topped 40 percent.

The rise in the exchange value of the US dollar, and higher business costs such as transportation, as well as recent street protests, all have contributed to the increase.

Fruits and vegetables witnessed fluctuations in their prices. “This is due to supply and demand in the market. It is out of the exchange rate game,” said Naim Khalil, Chairman of Syndicate of Exporters and Importers of Vegetables and Fruits.

Prices of bananas fell by 23 percent and oranges by 20 percent. According to Khalil, the drop in temperature affects certain kinds of crops such as tomatoes and Zucchini, which pushes their price up.

Prices of imported meat products fluctuated from one percent decrease for chicken breasts to 23 percent increase for chicken legs.

Musa Freiji, Chairman of the Syndicate of Poultry Farmers, said that chicken prices slightly increased due to the rise in feed prices. The market relies on local poultry production, and shortages are not expected, according to Freiji.

Increases in the prices of edible oil, dairy products, and legumes ranged from one to 38 percent, between Oct. 14 and Nov. 25, according to the MoET.

Food prices did not change in the US dollar, but the new exchange rate is taken into consideration when pricing in the Lebanese currency, according to Antoine Rizk, CEO at Oak Operations Services, importer of oils and other food products.

Reported by Gisele Khalaf
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Date Posted: Dec 04, 2019