Sufficient stocks of basic commodities should preclude price rises

A bakery worker removes bread from an oven in an undated photo. (File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/JNews)
A bakery worker removes bread from an oven in an undated photo. (File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — Representative of the food industries sectors at the Jordan Chamber of Industry Mohammad Al-Jeitan said food prices cannot be expected to stay stable for long, in light of the rise in prices of raw materials and foodstuffs globally.اضافة اعلان

Jeitan told Jordan News that the price of no product will stay unchanged a year or more from now, except for bread “if the situation remains as it is”; the reason, he said, is that wheat stocks exist and are sufficient for about 12-15 months, the price of bread is set by the government, “and there is no increase in the prices of its input ingredients”.

He added that there are stocks of vegetable oils in Jordan, “and other foodstuffs are available too”, but the availability of stocks of these products “varies between 4 and 6 months”.

Executive Director of the Consumer Protection Society Maher Al-Hajjat told Jordan News that if the government does not take appropriate measures to prevent price increases, “there will be price chaos”.

Hajjat added that “the most important measures that the government should take are to search for new import markets, preferably from neighboring countries to reduce transportation costs, doing an inventory of all the goods in merchants’ warehouses, and to find out the amount of strategic stocks to ensure that there is no increase in the prices of these goods under the pretext that they were imported after the Russian-Ukrainian conflict”.

Hajjat stressed that the government should tighten control over and set price ceilings on basic commodities.

Mahmood Omari, a merchant, told Jordan News that the trade movement is reduced, due to the difficult economic conditions since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that, according to the law of supply and demand, the low demand should preclude an increase in prices.

Suhaib Abdel-Khaliq, yet another merchant, told Jordan News that that there are reasonable reasons for the rise in prices: “the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and the high prices of some products in the country of origin, as a result, in addition to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic”.

He, however, admitted that this rise cannot continue “due to the difficult economic situation” of the population.

Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Supply Spokesperson Yanal Barmawi told Jordan News that “conditions change from time to time, and it is not possible to predict whether prices will rise during the coming period or not, especially since the rise in prices is linked to several factors, but it can be said that the food situation in Jordan is under control and that the food stock is sufficient and good, and that gives an indication that prices will remain stable”.

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