This issue of the Price Monitoring Bulletin is prepared based on the operational daily food price data collected by the National Statistics Committee from 18 markets across the country and disaggregated at province level as the average value (Chuy province - Tokmok, Kara-Balta; Osh province - Osh, Uzgen, Kara-Suu and Nookat; Talas province - Talas and Manas; Naryn province - Naryn and Chaek; Batken province - Batken and Isfana; Jalal- Abad province - Jalal-Abad, Toktogul and Kerben; Yssyk-Kul province - Karakol and Balykchy; and Bishkek city). This is a secondary data analysis.
SITUATION UPDATE: The slow dynamics of vaccinations both globally and in the region, together with the rising number of new cases of COVID-19 infections in the country, are limiting the full-scale recovery of economic activity.
Although, there are some signs of economic recovery as the positive inflow of foreign currencies into the country shows, in January – May 2021 GDP remained 1.6 percent lower compared to the previous year, totalling 215 billion Kyrgyz soms. In January-April 2021, the net inflow of remittances from individuals increased by 47 percent, amounting to USD 590 million. The Consumer Price Index, which measures price inflation, increased by 10 percent for all goods and services and by 17 percent for staple foods (+24 percent for meat, +6.1 percent for bread products, +11.3 percent for milk and dairy products, +49.2 percent for oils and fats, +15.3 percent for vegetables and +24.9 percent for sugar). The main pressure on the dynamics of food prices is being exerted by external factors, such as the accelerated growth of global food market prices and the limited supply in producer countries. The upward trend of global prices for certain food products is expected to continue until the end of 2021 (NBKR). Indeed, within the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the Kyrgyz Republic experienced the highest increase of prices and tariffs (1.1 percent). Rising food prices are also affecting households’ access to a nutritious diet, vital for all-round growth and development. The poverty rate in 2020, was 25.3 percent, which increased by 5.2 percentage points compared to the previous year. The poor families spent almost 52 % of their incomes on food. The Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Regional Development of the Kyrgyz Republic submitted a draft resolution to the Cabinet of Ministers for public discussion to propose a ‘Zero VAT’ for the period from 1 June 2021 to 31 December 2021 for the taxable imports of granulated sugar, vegetable oil and livestock: ‘On goods subject to a value-added tax at the rate of zero (0) percent to stabilize market prices for food products.’ The Government continues to monitor and stabilize food markets across the country through price controls on 11 essential food items and regulating import and export volumes.
The following section discusses the average prices for the four weeks from 5 May to 4 June 2021 in comparison to the previous four weeks, the previous month’s average (April 2021), the monthly average in February 2020 (before the COVID- 19 outbreak began in the country) and the annual average of May 2020 (when appropriate). The monthly monitoring of food prices revealed minor fluctuations of several commodities.