Jordan: Food prices could rise in the future after fuel price increase

Published November 18th, 2012 - 05:00 GMT
Food costs could be on the rise in Jordan
Food costs could be on the rise in Jordan

Food prices are expected to remain stable over the short run but may see “moderate” increases in the medium and long term due to the hikes in fuel prices, according to Foodstuff Traders Association (FTA) President Samer Jawabreh.

Jawabreh told The Jordan Times over the phone Thursday that the increase in the prices of oil derivatives after the government decided to lift subsidies will raise shipping and operational costs for importers and merchants.

However, he expected food prices to remain stable in the coming three to four months due to a slowdown in the domestic market and the weakening purchasing power of consumers.

In the months to follow, Jawabreh expects food prices to go up by 3 per cent to 5 per cent.

“The projected increase in food prices will not exceed 5 per cent,” he said, indicating that basic commodities may see a lower increase in prices than those considered as luxury or non-basic items.

The FTA president added that he would hold meetings with importers and traders to discuss the possibility of not hiking food prices to shoulder their responsibilities towards consumers and the country.

Commenting on the riots that hit several parts of the Kingdom in protest against the increase in prices of four fuel products, Jawabreh said the association supports peaceful demonstrations, but stressed that vandalism only hurts the interests of the people and the country.

He also called on authorities to consider exempting food items from taxes and customs duties to reduce the impact of lifting fuel subsidies on price inflation of other commodities.

Authorities expect the increase in fuel prices after lifting subsidies to push inflation up by less than 3 per cent.

The inflation rate in the Kingdom during the first three quarters of this year stood at 4.2 per cent.

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