Syria

Syria Country Office Market Price Watch Bulletin Issue 46, September 2018

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Highlights

  • The average price of a standard food basket has decreased by 26 percent since September 2017. In the same period, the gap between the cheapest and most expensive food basket has decreased by 73 percent.

  • Former opposition-held areas of Dar’a and Quneitra have experienced large decreases in prices of especially unsubsidized bread and butane gas within the past three months. In Quneitra, a bundle of bread was down 73 percent while gas was half price in September 2018 compared to July 2018.

  • Since August 2018, the black market exchange rate between Syrian pounds and US dollars has increased by 2.3 percent (SYP 453/1 US $ vs. SYP 434/1 US $). This is mainly driven by increases in Al-Hasakeh, Hama, As-Sweida and Damascus.

  • The Terms of Trade between wheat flour and daily wages as well as livestock (measured by a 2 year old male sheep) continues to increase.

Standard Food Basket

In September 2018, the average price of a standard food basket 1 across Syria decreased to SYP 23,126. This follows the year-on-year (yo-y) trend with falling food basket prices (down 26 percent).
The largest month-on-month (m-o-m) decrease across governorates was reported in Dar’a (eight percent), Quneitra (six percent) and Aleppo (three percent). Across other governorates only small m-o-m changes were reported (Figure 1).

While the cheapest food basket has remained stable during the past half year, it is 19 percent cheaper when compared to September 2017. Al -Hasakeh continues to have the cheapest food basket at SYP 20,033 followed by Quneitra at SYP 21,698.

The price of the most expensive food basket is down eight percent since March 2018 and 45 percent y-o-y. The food basket prices continue to be highest in Deir-ez-Zor (SYP 26,140) and Lattakia (SYP 25,036).

The price gap between the cheapest and most expensive food basket has decreased from SYP 22,566 in September 2017 to SYP 6,106 in September 2018, equaling a decrease of 73 percent, highlighting convergence of food prices across Syria. Compared to September 2017, the price of a standard food basket has decreased across all governorates in Syria (down 12-45 percent).

Compared to March 2018, the food basket price has decreased in eight governorates while it has increased especially in Lattakia (13 percent) and Tartous (10 percent). In the same period, Hama, Homs and Al-Hasakeh saw small increases of one-three percent.