24 percent increase in
food prices since October
Vegetables record highest surge
Consumer prices increased 24 percent since October 14, 2019, according to statistics published by the Ministry of Economy and Trade (MoET). The semi-monthly survey undertaken by the ministry covers 60 products.
Vegetables recorded the highest increase in prices. The market relies on imported vegetables this time of the year and the cost of imports has increased, according to Naim Khalil, Chairman of the Syndicate of Importers and Exporters of Fruits and Vegetables. “Importers pay the shipping fees in US dollars at high rates,” he said.
Khalil said that the supply of some vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumbers has declined due to the cold weather, thus pushing their prices up. Prices of these two items increased around 40 percent, according to the MoET.
Only prices of some types of fruits decreased due to high seasonal supply.
Prices of chicken and imported meat have risen as well. The cost of poultry production has increased due the high exchange rate, according to Musa Freiji, Chairman of the Syndicate of Poultry Farmers. “This is due to the rise of prices of imported feeds, vaccines, vitamins and sterilizers,” he said.
The increase in the prices of imported food drove importers to look for alternative low-cost products, according to Adel Abi Chaker, former Chairman of the Syndicate of Importers of Foodstuffs, and Chairman of Many food. “We stopped to import some products,” He said.
Traders are pricing their products in line with changes in the exchange rate. “They need to replenish their stocks,” said Chaker.
Source: Ministry of Economy and Trade
Reported by Gisele Khalaf
Date Posted: Feb 21, 2020