Retail prices at 16.7% mark-up

kaneshie_marketCommodity prices at retail level are, on the average, trading at more than 16 per cent of wholesale prices, the Esoko-GNA Commodity Index (EGCI) has revealed.

The Composite Index, which tracks 12 commodities in seven major markets across the country showed a margin of 2872 points between the wholesale and retail indexes, in the week ending September 27, representing a 16.7 per cent differential.

Whereas the EGCI-W closed the week at 17136 points, the EGCI-R closed the week at 20008 points. Week-on-week analysis however shows a drop in points. In the previous week, the wholesale index dropped by 41 points and the retail index dropping by 392 points.

Generally, commodity prices have been in decline in the past eight weeks, a situation which has led market watchers to conclude that the arrival of new harvests is having significant effect on food price inflation, holding it in check. The general Consumer Price Index also shows marginal increases, overall influencing positively inflation in the country.

Even though inflation has been slightly above the expectations of the economic managers, they are still hopeful. The overall view is that the fundamentals are strong enough to support external shocks, especially with commodity prices remaining stable for long periods.

The agricultural sector continues to hold the key to the country’s long-term growth and sustainability, employing a significant number of people within its value chain and contributing handsomely to GDP. However, in the second quarter of this year, the sector showed a negative growth of 3.9 per cent.

Current food price stability has brought comfort to many, especially in the wake of the increases in utility prices, especially water and electricity. Even though the price increases are to take effect from October 1, conventionally, as situations of this sort brings about an immediate price movements in the various markets, analysts expected a reaction this time too.

But as the food stock levels are deemed satisfactory, price movements have been generally quiet.

Commodity Prices

At the Aboabo and Tamale Central markets, four major commodities witnessed varied price changes this week as compared to last week. Three tubers of yam (medium size) shot up from GH¢4.00 last week to GH¢5.00 this week.  On the other hand, tomatoes and pepper saw a slight decline from GH¢6.00 as sold last week to GH¢5.00, this week and GH¢4.00 from last week to GH¢3.00 respectively.

In Koforidua, market commodity prices continued to drop at the close of trading on Friday. Prices of foodstuffs such as tomatoes, plantain, tilapia, smoked fish and yam dropped this week, as compared to the previous week.  A bowl of tomatoes is now GH¢4.00 instead of the previous price of GH¢5.00 while three tubers of yam are sold for GH¢5.00.

In Accra, prices at various marketing centres including Makola, Nima and Tema Station were at the same level on Friday  as they were last week.

In the Makola market a bowl of tomatoes sold for between GH¢5.00 and GH¢7.00, Red Pepper went for GH¢6.00 while Garden eggs is at GH¢6.00 and onion at GH¢10.00. Three tubers of yam are being sold at GH¢5.00 to GH¢7.00 depending on the size.

In Nima market, however, some commodity prices saw slight increases.  For example, the price of a bowl of tomatoes recorded a slight increase to GH¢12.00 on Friday, compared to last week’s price of GH¢11.00 while a bowl of beans sold at GH¢10.00, and groundnuts at GH¢11.00 per bowl compared to last week’s GH¢9.00 and GH¢10.00 respectively.

Market watchers attribute the drop in prices of commodities such as tomatoes and pepper to ongoing harvests by local farmers, coupled with the arrival of fresh produce from neighbouring Burkina Faso .

Source: GNA

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