In December 2016, year-on-year overall and food inflation rates for South Sudan stood at 479 percent and 517 percent, respectively, indicating a significant increase in the cost of living compared to the same month last year. The month-on-month cost of living based on Consumer Price Indices increased by 23 percent from November to December 2016.
The South Sudan Pound (SSP) against the US$ has continued to depreciate with divergence between the parallel and official market exchange rates. In Juba, the SSP was exchanging at SSP 100.5/US$ in the parallel market in January while the official rate stood at SSP 82/US$. This indicates a depreciation of SSD by 13 percent in the parallel market and by 6 percent as per the official rate, compared to December.
Compared to last month, fuel prices increased in Bor by 28 percent and in Yida by 45 percent whilst the price has declined in Aweil by 40 percent. The retail prices of petrol in the parallel market stood at SSP 96 in Aweil, SSP 160 in Yida and SSP 180 in Juba. The official rate of fuel in Juba was SSP 22 per litre; however, supply from fuel stations was very limited.
The distribution of in-kind humanitarian assistance and minimal production in pocket areas led to a reduced prices of staples in some markets. The price of white sorghum declined against the preceding month in Yida (40 percent) and Bentiu (52 percent) and in Bor white maize declined by 8 percent. However, Juba has experienced continued price surges (higher than 100 percent) of white sorghum and white maize.
The supply of field beans (janjaro), vegetable oil and wheat flour were constrained by the scarcity of hard currency and high transaction costs. On average, the retail prices of field beans (janjaro), vegetable oil and wheat flour have increased within ranges of 19-31 percent, 15-107 percent and 14-35 percent, respectively against the preceding month in most WFP monitored markets.
The prevailing localized insecurity has limited trade flows from local production to deficit area markets. Given the sporadic blockade of roads compounded by unpredictability of the economic and political situation, the flow of commodities from source markets to demand areas is not likely to improve in the coming months.