Monthly survey reveals taro price increases

A monthly survey of agricultural produce at local markets has revealed that the price of taro increased by 9 per cent to $2.87 per kilogram.

A local market survey undertaken by the Samoa Bureau of Statistics in July this year showed that the average price of taro increased by 9 per cent (to $2.87 per kilogram) and was driven by increasing demand. 

However, when the taro price was compared with data from June last year, the current price of taro was 10 per cent lower. The volume of taro supplies in July this year also increased by 10 per cent (to 4,747 kilograms) from June, a level that was 18 per cent lower than the same period last year.

The supply of bananas in July this year also rose by 15 per cent (to 2,062 kilograms) from June 2019, a level more than four times when compared with the same month a year ago. The average price of bananas increased by 6 per cent to $1.38 per kilogram due to strong domestic demand.

Coconut supply also dropped by 16 per cent in July this year from June with the weakened demand pushing average prices down 3 per cent to $0.94 per kilogram. While the supply of breadfruit – which fell by 27 per cent in March last year – saw its price increase by 2 per cent to $1.49 per kilogram.

According to the Bureau, the estimated normal value of selected produce was 12 per cent lower when compared with July last year as recorded at $72, 200 in July 2019.

Taro supplies contributed the second most to the total value of produce by a 19 per cent increase from 16 per cent in July this year. Shares of banana supplies contributed 4 per cent to the total value up from 1 per cent in July of this year as well as last year.

Supplies of coconut contributed 9 per cent of the total value decreasing from 12 per cent in July this year as well.

Lower contributions by 0 percent were recorded for the supplies of breadfruit in the review of July this year. Significant decreases were recorded for all produce with the exception of taro and banana.

But a decline in overall supply pushed the price index up 0.3 per cent with average prices of all produce increasing with the exception of coconut. However, when compared with July last year the current overall price level was 1 per cent higher.

For taro alone, price rose 27 per cent as current supplies of it contributed to a 31 per cent decline in volume, when compared to the 12 months ending July this year over the twelve months ending July last year despite the increase in volume in July.

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