Jordan gearing up for "exceptional" Ramadan demand
“We have made exceptional food orders as demand is expected to be extraordinary, especially with the rising number of Syrian refugees and tourists,” Samer Jawabreh, president of the Foodstuff Traders Association (FTA), said at a meeting between Trade Minister Hatem Halawani and major food importers.
The meeting, Halawani said, was held to check on traders' preparations for Ramadan, as he urged them to boost their supplies in the local market.
The minister also said that he wanted to listen to merchants' demands and complaints in a bid to facilitate the flow of goods and commodities into the market.
Jawabreh expected that in June, one month ahead of Ramadan, all food supplies will be available in the local market, indicating that owners of large supermarkets intend to launch promotional offers on food items during the fasting month.
The holy month will begin in the first half of July according to the Islamic lunar calendar.
During the meeting, traders complained that more than one government department is responsible for monitoring food imports, which according to them, sometimes causes delay and additional costs for traders.
Some traders called on authorities to slash the 4 per cent sales tax imposed on imported live animals as well as other commodities, such as frozen meat.
Authorities expect the demand on food commodities during Ramadan this year to exceed levels of previous years, mainly due to the rising number of Syrian refugees and the return of Jordanian expatriates for summer holidays.
Merchants estimate that food consumption during Ramadan usually increases by 50 per cent when compared with other months.
FTA figures show that average food consumption during the fasting month in recent years reached around JD500 million ($700 million).