WFP has more than 20 years of experience in price data collection in Afghanistan. Until recently, WFP collected price data on a weekly basis for 17 food and non-food commodities from 8 main cities in the country where WFP has its offices, and produced weekly heads up notes and monthly market price bulletins containing information on food access and availability of food in the markets. As COVID-19 outbreak increased and affected food and non-food commodity prices, WFP launched daily market price bulletins using data from these 8 cities, while establishing a system for market price monitoring and data collection to all 34 provinces of the country, adding 9 extra commodities to the analysis, including livelihood related items (fertilizers, improved seed and animal feed) based on requests from the Food Security and Agriculture Cluster (FSAC) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Data collection was launched during the first week of May 2020 in all the 34 provincial capitals, while maintaining the daily bulletins until 31 May 2020. The first bulletin covering the Week 1 and 2 of May 2020 is now being circulated. The second bulletin covering week 3 and 4 of May 2020 will be circulated on 7 June 2020. The third bulletin covering week 1 of June 2020 will be issued on 10 June 2020. Following this, WFP will regularise the issue of its weekly bulletins every Wednesday covering the market trends of the previous week. Daily market bulletins have been stopped with immediate effect.
• There were no significant changes in the prices of food and non-food items between the first and second weeks of May 2020.
• The prices of all main food commodities (wheat, wheat flour, rice, oil, pulses and sugar) are significantly higher in early May compared to 14 March 2020.
• The average wheat flour price (high price & low price) in the main city markets is 20% higher than on 14 March 2020. Wheat prices are also 18% higher than the same period last year (2019).
• The price of cooking oil is 34% percent higher than on 14 March 2020.
• Pulses prices are 33% higher than on 14 March 2020.
• Rice prices (high & low quality) are 8% and 22% higher respectively than on 14 March.
• The price of sugar is 16% higher compared to 14 March 2020.
• Casual laborers’ and pastoralists’ purchasing power have deteriorated by 13% and 17%, mainly due to increased wheat prices compared to 14 March 2020.