The national average retail price of wheat flour increased by 4% on a month-on-month basis in March 2014. The increase was lower in urban areas (2%) and higher in rural areas (7%). The price was 9% lower on a year-on-year basis, but was 36% higher than the lowest point in the last three-years, which was recorded in May/June 2012. National Statistics Committee’s (NSC) price monitoring, which covers the main urban markets showed a 1% increase in wheat flour prices on a month-on-month basis.
In March 2014 the national average price of sugar sharply increased by 11% on a month-on-month basis. The price of cooking oil also increased by 2% on a month-on-month basis. Meat prices remained at record high levels - the prices were 8% and 10% higher for mutton and beef respectively, than in March 2013.
Fuel prices showed a significant increase in March 2014 on a month-on-month basis: 92 octane petrol was 5% higher and diesel was 3% higher. Prices have been consistently higher in rural areas since WFP started price monitoring in rural areas in April 2012.
The Kyrgyz Som had depreciated against the US dollar by 6% on a month-on-month basis and by 11% on the annual basis.
The price data of this report reflects WFP’s actual monthly recording of prices in seven urban and thirteen rural markets around the country, as well as in urban settlements monitored by the NSC.
Market stability during the early spring period is critical for vulnerable households, because food consumption, especially dietary diversity, tends to deteriorate due to depleted household food stocks and increased expenditures on agricultural inputs. In the months ahead, WFP will pay close attention to a number of risk factors: the potential impact of the depreciation of the national currency on food and fuel prices, higher prices for some food items in rural areas, the levels of household level food consumption and the occurrence of natural disasters such as avalanches and landslides.