As the general security situation stabilizes and more districts become accessible, food basket prices as well as the prices of core commodities tend to fall and converge to reach more stable, affordable and similar levels across governorates.
Diesel prices have converged from having a 1,127 percent price gap between the cheapest and most expensive governorate in Syria in August 2017 to a 477 percent price gap in August 2018.
Since February 2018, the wholesale price of wheat has decreased by eight percent while the prices of rice and bulgur have decreased by seven and three percent respectively.
As the international Food Price Index stagnated and the Cereal Price Index increased by four percent m-o-m, the two indices are now at the same level at around 168 points. The price-level in Syria continues to be significantly higher than on the international market.
Standard Food Basket
The national average price of a standard food basket1 decreased by two percent month-onmonth (m-o-m) to SYP 23,432 in August 2018, which is in line with the year-on-year (y-o-y) downward trend (down 26 percent). This trend is influenced by the stabilisation of the security situation and improved accessibility. Prices in Deir-ez-Zor continue to fall (down 13 percent m-o-m and 49 percent y-o-y) while also prices in Quneitra show a decreasing trend (down 10 percent m-o-m) after the government of Syria regained control of the majority of south-western Syria.
Despite a two percent m-o-m increase, AlHasakeh continues to have the cheapest food basket at SYP 19,796 followed by As-Sweida at SYP 21,761 and Aleppo at SYP 22,445 (both down two percent).
The converging trend seen in Chart 1 is also reflected in Figure 1 showing fewer and smaller m-o-m price fluctuations. Five of the 14 governorates had stable food basket prices since July 2018. Dar’a and Tartous had price increases of four percent and Lattakia reported a decrease of four percent. The gap between the highest and lowest food basket price by governorate has fallen by 413 percent from SYP 26,873 to SYP 6,502 over the past 12 months.
All 14 governorates experienced an annual fall in food basket prices, varying from five percent in Dar’a to 49 percent in Deir-ez-Zor. The February-2018 prices (six months ago) were more varied, from 15 and 11 percent increases in Lattakia and Tartous respectively to a 15 percent decrease in Aleppo and 10 percent decrease, in Damascus and Idleb.