The price of basic commodities continues to rise beyond the reach of many Zimbabweans as the economy continue to sink.
Consumers woke up to realise that the prices of sugar have significantly gone up from $50 to almost $70.
The price of white sugar per tonne has gone to $29,093. Shops will be getting brown sugar at $58.19 per 2kg and $61.23 for a packet of 2kg white sugar. The recommended retail price for white sugar is $68.60 for a 2kg packet of brown sugar. Tongaat Hulett recommends that retailers well a 2kg packet o white sugar at $65.19
Zimbabwe’s main sugar producers are South Africa owned Tongaat Hulett and Star Africa Corporation.
The recent increase in prices of sugar could be a response to the increase in the foreign currency exchange rates. Parallel market rates have gone up to ZWL 43 per USD 1. The exchange rates on the interbank market is around $24 from $18 last week. The increase in the interbank rate is likely to have been caused by the shift to the Reuters system that will allow banks and bureau de changes to compete with the parallel market buyers.
Other commodity prices have also risen. A kilogram of beef currently costs around $160 from $120 last month. The increase in prices is also likely to have been caused by the depletion of stock as farmers were hit hard by the January disease.
A bundle of vegetables is costing around $10 from $7 last week. prices of most cosnumables are relecting the change in the foreign currecny rates. Fuel however remains at around $18 for petrol and diesel as these are fixed by the government. Fuel remains in short supply and queues are the order of the day. Motorists are spending more than 3 hours on average to get their cars refueled.
The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) has announced that Zimbabwe’s annual inflation was, as of February 2020, at 540.16 percent while the month on month inflation was at 13.52 percent. The figures are disputed by other scholars who suggest Zimbabwe’s inflation is much higher than the official ones