Bangladesh + 1 more

WFP-VAM Market Monitor, Cox’s Bazar, April 2022

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Key highlights

▪ Global food prices reached an all-time high in February 2022 and jumped another 12 percent in March, breaking the previous record peaks in 2008 and 2011. Although in April 2022 global food price index dropped slightly due to the demand rationing for vegetable oils, soaring essential food prices impact millions of families on the edge of hunger whose incomes have already been hit hard by the pandemic.

▪ Even though the conflict in Ukraine has had minimal influence on Bangladesh markets as of April 2022, if the conflict continues, volatility in international markets is likely to spill over into local markets, posing a threat to food access for the most vulnerable.

▪ Mixed retail price trends were observed across the Cox’s Bazar district markets with most essential commodities maintaining inflated prices. Prices of broiler chicken, potatoes, chillies, eggplant, and LPG went up, while rice, vegetable oil, onion, egg, and garlic prices declined or remained stable.

▪ The cost of a typical food basket in April 2022 (1,110 BDT) remained the same level from March 2022 (1,124 BDT). However, when compared to the pre-Covid-19 level (839 BDT, February 2020), the April 2022 basket was significantly higher (+32 percent), putting a strain on a household's purchasing capacity in Cox's Bazar.

▪ The current market situation has been threatened by unstable prices of key commodities, driven by multiple factors, including hoarding and price gouging, ongoing lean season for staple food, higher transportation costs, and international price hikes