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FAO-WFP Joint Market Monitor: Cox’s Bazar – Bangladesh (August 2021)

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Situation Report
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Key Highlights

This second FAO-WFP Joint Market Monitoring (JMM) report provides an overview of the market situation in Cox’s Bazar district during the month of July 2021. The month started with a strict lockdown to prevent the spread of the COVID 19 delta variant, that was temporary suspended for the Eid celebration (mid-July). Heavy rains and floods by the end of July impaired access to markets.

• Prices of most key food commodities (rice, soyabean oil, onion, red lentils and red chili) tended to stabilize or decrease in most Cox’s Bazar district markets, except increased prices of onions in Ukhia and lentils in Cox’s Bazar Sadar markets.

• Retail rice price decreased between June and July in Cox’s Bazar Sadar and Ukhia due to satisfactory Boro harvest, rich stock, and reduction of rice import duty from 73 to 25 percent by the government. Still, rice prices were up to 26% higher than July last year.

• Soybean oil price is maintained around June levels whereas onion price trends vary according to markets. Still, July prices of soyabean and onion were between 25%-45% higher than July last year.

• Red lentil prices in July decreased in Ukhia and Teknaf where it reached lower prices than in July last year. July chili price decreased in Ukhia and it was found similar to July 2020 in most markets of Cox’s Bazar district.

• The cost of a typical food basket started coming down by the end of June and throughout July reducing to BDT 959 at the end of July. The cost is still 8% higher than that of July 2020 basket value of BDT 892.

• Most traders reported enough stock level although they faced losses due to rotting of stored perishables like potatoes, onions, etc.

• Vegetable prices continue witnessing a sharp rise due to continued heavy rains that have increased the June impact on farmers.

• Ban on fishing in the Bay of Bengal has ended but fishing has stopped or lessened drastically due to the unfavorable weather condition at the Bay of Bengal.

• Lockdown driven labor shortage and high labor cost continued from June to July. No supply disruption was reported except continuation of high transportation cost due to reduced availability of transport.

• No products were reported to be scarce in the shops. Traders briefly increased the diversity of goods during the Eid period but generally they are keeping less diverse products due to uncertainty of sales.

• Traders are refraining from selling commodities to customers on credit as response to the increased credit seeking behaviour of customers which reflects reduced household purchasing power.

• In camp markets, fresh food, especially vegetable prices, were above BDT 50 per kg, due to price spikes driven by the low supply.

Rice price in the camps is 7-13 BDT higher than the nearby host markets. As a result, customers are buying less quantity of goods.