Global drop in commodities prices does not reflect on local markets

(File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — The global drop in prices of certain goods did not reflect on local markets, according to the Consumer Protection Association, which conducted a study that showed, to the contrary, a rise in the prices of 84 out of 130 commodities.اضافة اعلان

Mohammad Obeidat, head of the association, told Jordan News “the reason commodity prices have not decreased, despite their decline globally, is the merchants’ claim that they had acquired them at high prices” in the first place.

“The Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Supply should protect the consumer by providing sufficient quantities and good-quality commodities at moderate prices, in view of the difficult economic conditions experienced by most citizens. Prices should be fair to both trader and consumer,” he said.

The head of the Jordanian Union of Restaurants and Confectionery Proprietors, Omar Al-Awwad, said that once the price of a commodity increases, it is unlikely that it will decrease again.

He told Jordan News that “the highest increase was of soy oil. It rose from JD20 per gallon (4 liters) to JD32, after which it was lowered to JD30. Although it marginally decreased, it remained at its higher price point.”

“We must have some form of market prices regulation. In the world, when prices of goods rise, the government intervenes and sets a price cap,” he added.

Head of Jordan Chamber of Commerce, Nael Kabariti, told Jordan News that the “price fluctuations that occur globally are not necessarily reflected locally, especially when it comes to a drop in prices. We live in an open economy and the ministry can rarely interfere and set price caps.”

Laith Al–Hajj, who heads a dairy cooperative, seems to blame intermediaries for the plight of the farmers who, he stressed, “did not benefit at all from the increase in the prices of milk and cheese”.

He told Jordan News that “farmers are suffering both because of the prices and the availability of feed,” of which Jordan only produces 10 percent, importing the rest.

The increase in prices clearly failed to reflect on the farmers, then.

“I assure you our farmers are still incurring considerable losses which affect particularly small farms,” he stressed.

Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply spokesman Yanal Barmawi told Jordan News that “we are currently working in partnership with the executive body, and the industrial and commercial sectors, to lower the price of basic commodities in light of the drop in their prices globally.”

“The ministry is keen on protecting the interests of all parties, to serve the consumer with high quality goods, strategic stock, and price balance,” he added.

Barmawi said that “the ministry, by virtue of the laws governing industry and trade, will not hesitate to take any measures, including the possibility of setting price caps to any commodity that is found to be unjustifiably high. Such decisions were already taken this year”.

“We also hope that there will be greater cooperation on the part of citizens who can notifying us about any complaint related to the markets by contacting the ministry by phone or social media platforms,” he said.

At the same time, he recommended responsibility, stressing that “it is very important to remember that circulating misinformation or false information regarding a hike in prices may affect the local market and harm the consumer”.

According to Barmawi, during the first eight months of this year, about 5,000 food violations were registered in all governorates of the Kingdom; they were mostly non-compliance with the provisions of the law.

“Moreover, the ministry is currently receiving a large number of complaints from citizens related to violations in the markets, and appropriate measures are being taken immediately.”

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