In an effort to inform cash-based interventions and better understand market dynamics in Libya, the Joint Market Monitoring Initiative (JMMI) was created by the Libya Cash & Markets Working Group (CMWG) in June 2017. The initiative is led by REACH and supported by the CMWG members. It is funded by the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Markets in key urban areas across Libya are assessed on a monthly basis. In each location, field teams record prices and availability of basic food and non-food items (NFIs) sold in local shops and markets. This factsheet presents an overview of price ranges and medians for key food items and NFIs in the assessed areas, as well as the costs associated with key elements of the Minimum Expenditure Basket (MEB).
REACH has also conducted analysis highlighting economic vulnerability for atrisk population groups that can be accessed through an interactive dashboard.
Field staff familiar with the local market conditions identified shops representative of the general price level in their respective locations.
At least four prices per assessed item were collected within each location. In line with the purpose of the JMMI, only the price of the cheapest available brand was recorded for each item.
Enumerators were trained on methodology and tools by REACH.
Data collection was conducted through the KoBoCollect mobile application.
Following data collection, REACH compiled and cleaned all partner data, normalising prices, cross-checking outliers and calculating the median cost of the MEB in each assessed market.
Qualitaive information is also gathered from local sources and economic experts through key informant (KI) interviews.
REACH has extracted prices on a daily basis from the website, "Open Souq" and conducted KI interviews to better understand the rental market in Libya.
Enmuerators have also surveyd customers from a number of shops to ask questions focused on access to cash and alternative payment modalities.
More details are available in the Methodology section of the Appendix
In October 2020, the cost of the overall MEB increased by 4.3%. This month's MEB is 14.3% more expensive than pre-COVID levels in March 2020*. The increase in the MEB from September - October 2020 may be attributed to seasonal production cost increases for domestically grown agricultural products, such as potatoes (+20.0%), peppers (+18.8%) and tomatoes (+18.2%).
After the lifting of the oil blockade on the 18th Sepember 2020, Libya has rapidly increased its oil output. On the 13th November 2020, Reuters has reported that oil production has risen to 1.2m barrels per day (bpd). The rise in oil production may have led to the decrease in parallel market gasoline (-12.5%) and cooking fuel (-16.5%) prices in across Libya. West and East Libya have witnessed cooking fuel prices reverting back to pre-oil blockade levels (December 2019), whereas the cost of fuel in South Libya continues to be more than twice as expensive compared to December 2019.
After lengthy protests on both sides of the Libyan/ Tunisian border, authorities decided to allow all types of trade to continue at the Ras Jedir border crossing.
The reopening of the border comes as a relief for those dependent on transporting goods between the two countries and may reduce the cost of the MEB in western cities close to Tunisia.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reports that the 2020 cereal crop production is 5% lower than the previous year, while crop yield is 12% below average. The low output may only have marginal effect on wheat prices, as the country imports 90% of its cereal consumption requirements. Farmers report that "power cuts, insecurity as well as expensive inputs, including seeds, water, fuel, tools and machinery, continue to constrain their ability to produce". Along with movement restrictions, these challenges have likely led to a decrease in farmer income, and may cause additional price spikes for locally produced products