Despite a general annual downward trend, a slight increase was recorded in the price of a standard food basket in July, mainly driven by increasing prices in basic food commodities such as bread and lentils.
The price of government subsidized bread increased by 12 percent in hard-to-reach areas. Idleb continues to have significantly higher prices of both subsidized bread (145 percent) and unsubsidized bread (58 percent) than the national average.
The wholesale price of wheat and bulgur grains increased, leaving Syrian wholesale wheat grain prices more than double the international market price of wheat US $ 464/MT compared to US $ 216/MT.
The average daily wages for unskilled labour continues to increase at a higher level than livestock prices, positively impacting the purchasing power of households relying on casual labour compared to households relying on livestock.
Inflation has been reducing but remains high at an estimated 27 percent in May 2018 (Central Bureau of Statistics).
Standard Food Basket
In July 2018, the national average price of a standard food basket 1 increased to SYP 24,507 after a one percent month-on-month (m-o-m) increase. Despite the small increase since June, the mean national price has seen an overall downward trend of four percent since January 2018 and 24 percent year-on-year (y-o -y).
The gap between the highest and lowest food basket price by governorate, which was more than SYP 31,000 in July 2017, has fallen by 36 percent y-o-y to around SYP 11,000, showing that food basket prices are converging across Syria. The highest average food basket price by governorate fell by 46 percent y-o-y while the lowest fell by 24 percent y-o-y (Chart 1).
Deir-ez-Zor faced the highest food basket price in July (SYP 31,095) followed by Lattakia (SYP 27,250) and Quneitra (SYP 26,648). AlHasakeh and Hama reported the lowest food basket prices at SYP 19,919 and 22,865 respectively.
The highest m-o-m increase in food basket price was reported in Lattakia (19 percent) while Deir-ez-Zor experienced the highest decrease in food basket price since June (11 percent).
Since January 2018, 11 governorates have experienced a reduction in price trend, now being able to buy basic food commodities an average of 11 percent cheaper. While the y-oy trend shows that all governorates have seen decreases in food basket prices varying from five to 46 percent.