Thursday, May 03, 2018

Ramadan is Coming and Food Prices Rise

Ramadan 2018 is expected to begin on the evening of Tuesday, May 15 and end in the evening of Thursday, June 14. Although it is still a few weeks away, the annual price hikes have begun in the local food souks. Vegetables, seafood or arboriculture, white or red meats and fish are all suffering from soaring prices

Apart from the approach of Ramadan there is no other explanation for this bullish trend is advanced, especially as this year was particularly rainy and good for local agriculture.

Despite assurances given by the authorities in recent weeks about the control of prices and the quality of basic products, they remain particularly expensive two weeks before the start of Ramadan. Even with a good agricultural year, which should have contributed to a decrease, or even a mere stabilisation, the prices of many basic necessities are on the rise.

The daily Al Ahdath Al Magribia has toured the market stalls of Casablanca and reports that vegetables (onions, potatoes, turnips, carrots, tomatoes ...) are currently in a range of 7 to 10 dirhams, while observers announce the start of an inexorable uptrend that will continue until the end of Ramadan.

The same trend applies for fruits, especially those of local production whose supply is abundant and which should have seen their prices fall. However, apple varieties are traded from a minimum price of 10 to 12 dirhams in different markets of the economic capital, while the local banana is accessible at a minimum price of 11 to 13 dirhams, not to mention seasonal fruits of season for which sell for an average of 25 dirhams per kg.

As for meat, they display between 65 and 75 dirhams kg for red meats, while live chicken is currently sold at 16 dirhams per kilo, against 55 dirhams for turkey. Prices of which it is certain, as it happens every year, that they climb from the first week of Ramadan, recalls the newspaper. Indeed, meat and fish, products widely used during Ramadan, in the same way that the grains whose kilo price currently reached 90 dirhams or sesame which varies, according to its category, from 30 to 80 dirhams on the eve of each Ramadan, an increase of 15 to 25% of their prices.

A trend confirmed by the statistics of the High Commission's plan which, in a note of conjuncture relating to price indices, concluded that during the period from February to March 2018, the price of fish and seafood has risen 4.7%, compared to 0.9% for fruit and 0.7% for meat.

The Ministry of the Interior has also undertaken several checks to ensure the consumer, during Ramadan, a quality of products sold and a suitable selling price.

More than 1,000 field visits were carried out, throughout the month of April, by various regional and local control commissions in more than 20,000 large and medium-sized areas, but also in production units, product storage depots food stores, wholesale outlets, and small corner stores. This control led to the detection of nearly 500 infringement cases and the seizure of 300 tonnes of defective food products for sale or in stock.

But this year, the Moroccan citizen can also contribute to this control. Thanks to a national number that will soon be communicated by the Ministry of the Interior, consumers and traders can file a complaint against a sale of food products whose quality is poor or which would display a higher selling price than the market .

"A special commission will be listening to the citizens 24 hours a day and it is only with their help that we can be more vigilant and thus counter those who play with the health of the Moroccan consumer", announces Lahcen Daoudi adding that the commission will make sure to react in less than 48 hours to the complaint.


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