Availability of agricultural produce in markets drop

By Ivamere Nataro 21 February 2019, 12:00AM

The availability of agricultural food in local markets dropped by 3 per cent last month, pushing the average prices up to 17 per cent when compared to December 2018. 

This was the findings of the Samoa Bureau of Statistics highlighted in their local market survey 2019 report for January. 

“This increase in price was largely due to increased prices of all vegetable produce. When compared with January 2018, the current overall price level was 8 percent higher,” said the report. 

The significant reduction in the supply of coconut, tomato and pumpkin contributed to the decline in volume of produce. 

According to the report, the value of supplies grew 16 per cent to $77,100 from the previous months. 

The supply of taro in January increased 44 per cent (to 5,727 kilograms) from December 2018 – which was 53 per cent lower than the same month last year. 

Increased availability led to its average price to drop 4 per cent to $2.95 per kilogram, and compared with January 2018, current price of taro was 36 per cent higher. 

The volume of banana supplied to local markets increased by 25 per cent (to 3,061 kilograms) from December 2018 – a level that was 21 per cent higher than the same month last year. 

The average price of banana increased by 2 per cent (to $1.10 per kilogram) due to strong domestic demand, and compared with the same month last year, current price was 24 per cent higher. 

Coconut supplies dropped 4 per cent to 6,825 kilograms from December 2018, while limited supply pushed its average price up 26 per cent to $1.21 per kilogram. 

When compared to January 2018, current supply of coconut was 4 per cent higher while average price increased 70 per cent. 

At an average of 605 kilograms, breadfruit supply was more than doubled, and its increased availability pushed its average price down 1 percent to $1.16 kilograms. 

At 124 kilogram, the supply of yam to the local markets rose 18 per cent to 124 kilograms and strong domestic demand pushed its average price up 21 per cent to $6.84 per kilogram. 

With the exception of tomato and pumpkin, whose volume dropped 68 per cent (to 116 kilograms) and 14 per cent (to 10,948 kilograms), a general overview of all vegetable produce revealed significant gains in all vegetable supplies.  

The average value of selected produce supplied to the local markets at $77,100 last month increased 16 per cent from the previous month and was 2 per cent higher compared with January 2018. 

By Ivamere Nataro 21 February 2019, 12:00AM

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