| 22 April 2024, Monday |

Since early 2020 … food prices have risen above 350%

In monitoring the evolution of food prices, researchers at the Crisis Observatory at the American University of Beirut monitor the prices of 17 commodities on a weekly basis that have been chosen as an approximate sample of the foodstuffs that families in Lebanon need on a permanent basis, including vegetables, fruits, grains, meat, oils, and dairy products. . The observatory depends on the price table issued by the Ministry of Economy and Trade, and compares this with the prices of the same commodities in consumer cooperatives for the purpose of verification.

All commodities recorded a significant increase in their prices in the period from January 2020 to April 2021, and reached 350 percent, except for flour, which, after rising in an unprecedented way in the summer of 2020, returned and decreased this year to early last year levels. The price of oils, meat and sugar, as well as fruits and vegetables, is evidenced by the continuous and dramatically escalating increase in prices.

In comparison with the development of exchange rates in the parallel market, the link between food commodity prices and the dollar price on the black market is clearly evident, even for local products such as vegetables and fruits, as well as eggs, olive oil and dairy products. Dependence on imported raw materials, which are involved in the production and manufacture of these materials, which contributes to this increase.

In light of the loss of purchasing power for most of the population in Lebanon, the ministries of economy and agriculture have to scientifically and accurately calculate the cost of production and manufacture of local materials and monitor their pricing. It is also urgent to monitor the reasons for the non-decline in commodity prices during this month, April, in parallel with the decline in the exchange rate since it was registered at the threshold of 15,000 Lebanese pounds.