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 recovery of economic activity in the world and between trading partner countries of the Kyrgyz Republic will gradually allow the resumption of trade and logistics routes and the intensification of foreign economic activity. However, 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, from January-May 2021, GDP remained 1.6 percent lower compared to the previous year, totalling 215 billion Kyrgyz soms. From January-April 2021, the net inflow of remittances from individuals increased by 47 percent, amounting to USD 590 million. In May 2021, compared to the same period last year, 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 upward trend of global prices for certain food products is expected to continue until the end of 2021 (NBKR). Rising food prices are also affecting households’ access to a nutritious diet, vital for all-around growth and development. According to the NSC, in 2021 the planting areas of crops increased by 1.5 percent, wheat by 1.2 percent, barley by 2.3 percent and corn for grain by 0.7 percent, sugar beets by 22.8 percent, vegetables by 2.7 percent and other crops by 3.9 percent compared to 2020. Along with this, there was a decrease in the planting area of oilseeds by 12.9 percent, cotton by 11.7 percent, food melons by 5.5 percent, potatoes by 1.8 percent, as well as forage crops by 0.5 percent. 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 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 to regulate import and export volumes.