Food prices stable three months on

Food prices stable three months on
Some fruits and vegetables being sold at Konyokonyo Freedom market (photo credit: Alex Bullen/The City Review)

The prices of commodities in Juba have remained stable for the third month now as the country goes through a recovery phase after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contrary to the past trend where a day could mean an astronomical increase or a decrease in prices of goods, the past three months have witnessed minimal changes in the price margins. 

The stabilisation began in August 2021 when the dollar lost strength against the South Sudanese Pound when the Central Bank intensified the auctioning of the US dollars. 

“Things are trying to be in the right places despite the continuous challenges in the country. This time around our country has [been able] to maintain prices of commodities for about two to three months,” Khalifa Daffallah, a businessman at Munuki Market told The City Review on Friday.

“Although many people will not believe things will slowly go down. But for me, I believe one-day things can go down but only if the government manages to maintain the security,” Mr Daffallah stressed.

However, he said there are a lot of challenges traders are experiencing that need to be addressed by the authorities concerned.

Among the challenges include over-taxations, unnecessary fines on traders among others.

“These fees include security fee, licenses, abnormal fines which are not there in the receipt, waste fee and more others.”

Gisma Sebit, a tea seller at Jebel Market, also it was a good thing to see South Sudan trying to control the hyperinflation that prices out traders and buyers in the market.

“Walai (Arabic word meaning reality or someone is swearing), it is like surprise, it like now almost two months so far, I have seen the things in the market have not changed, at least,” Ms Sebit revealed.

However, she doubts if that is going to continue and maybe lead to a decrease in prices like in the 2014 – 2016 period.

“But we may not be surprised one day that you wake up and things go back to worse because, in South Sudan, anything can happen especially with war,” she added.

Prices stabilise

Below are some of the commodities that the City Review managed to survey the prices.

As of Friday, November 5, 2021, the prices at Konyokonyo Market, Jebal Market, Munuki and Custom markets maintained August’s prices.

A bag of 50kg of white sugar costs SSP28,000 and brown sugar 50kg cost SSP15,000 and a kilogram is at SSP600 and SSP400 respectively which was the same prices in August, September, and October.

Others include wheat flour50kg cost SSP 16,000 and maize flour 50kg from SSP12,000.

Also cooking oil 5litres cost SSP5,000 and 3litres has sold at 3,000 to 2500 while 20litres sold at SSP13,000.

Meanwhile, the exchange rate of dollar rate in the black market as of Friday, November 5, 2021, sold at SSP42,000 and SSP41,000 per $100 compared to 40,000 or SSP41,000 per $100.

In markets like Custom, Konyokonyo, Jebal market almost all prices remain the same, 1kg of coffee is sold at SSP600 to SSP700, while all the beans go at SSP500 to SSP600 including sorghum.

When asked why there was a slight increase in dollar rate, Isaac Gubeny a black-market dealer said, “We have added some things small which we do not consider as an increase.”

“Because at the end of the day if you come back you will even get less than what we are saying so I think we have not increased anything,” he added.