Bananas, eggs, chickens and oils show considerable increases compared to recent weeks
2022 entered with significant increases in some agricultural products. However, the National Council of Traders and Entrepreneurs of the Dominican Republic (Conacerd) forecasts price increases in meat, fish, cereals and vegetables.
So far, basic food items such as bananas, eggs, chicken and oils continue to increase their costs, which impacts the working capital of merchants and the pocket of consumers.
The rise in the prices of these foods is felt in supermarkets, grocery stores and markets.
As of today, a pound of chicken in grocery stores in the National District sells for RD $ 80.00, a unit of bananas for RD $ 25.00 and an egg between RD $ 8.00 and RD $ 10.00.
In the New Market of Villas Agrícolas the first week of January a banana was sold up to RD $ 17.00. Yesterday the barahonero and the azuano were between RD $ 16.00 and RD $ 12.00.
While in supermarkets, the oil in a 1.8 liter (64 ounce) presentation is around RD $ 270.00 and RD $ 300.00.
Presidents of federations of merchants consulted attribute these increases, generally, to the increase in the costs of importing components and raw materials used in the production of many agro-industrial products.
In the particular case of the rise in food and eggs, the president of Conacerd understands that the outbreak of the pandemic and the arrival of the omicron variant have generated difficulties in obtaining drivers for transport, generating greater demand with a lower capacity of supply the sales points.
“In addition, this is causing shipments to be slow because producers have also reduced the number of employees in their work,” says Antonio Cruz.
Regarding oil and beans, he said that the increase is due to the variation in the prices of the dollar as in the commodity. “In the country there is no way to control these costs, because at the moment the suppliers of these products in the country have found that they are more expensive abroad than here, so they have to make price adjustments, as a measure to protect their inventories, ”he explains.
In this sense, it forecasts increases in the prices of beef and pork, fish, shellfish, cereals and mayonnaise.
He warns that chicken prices will continue to rise, due to the difficulties generated by the pandemic in transport and labor.
He also argued that the lack of raw materials in international markets will impact cereal prices.
In the same way, it visualizes increases in mayonnaise, due to a decrease in production and the limitations generated by covid-19.
For his part, Agustín Peñaló, president of the Business Front of Merchants, considers that the increase in prices of basic necessities is a consequence of external problems such as the increase in freight rates.
“We cannot right now or blame the government or trade. There is a pandemic situation that is affecting the world and that will mean that the prices of items continue to increase, not just basic necessities, but all, “he said.
The former president of the Dominican Federation of Provisions Retailers sees an unflattering future. “We are still not seeing the effect of the situation that is coming worldwide, we will see it later,” he presaged.
He highlighted that as a result of the pandemic, agricultural inputs rose up to 300%. “I do not know how far we can catalog this situation, I hope the Government can continue to subsidize inputs so that agricultural products do not continue to rise,” he said.
In this regard, the president of the New Market Merchants Federation, Miguel Minaya, recalled that imported raw material is used in the production of eggs and chickens, since the country does not produce corn or soybeans, which translates into increases in these products of the basic basket. In the particular case of the banana, he specified the following: “The banana was seen here at 30 pesos and we had it the whole year at 9, 10, 12 and 13 pesos. Bananas are a harvest and when the harvest is ending, demand rises above production and prices tend to go up ”.