Survey reveals increase in agricultural food supplies

A monthly survey of agricultural food supplies at the local markets for April 2020 has revealed an increase of 13 per cent of local produce.

But the increased availability of local agricultural food supplies has brought domestic prices down. The report was issued by the Samoa Bureau of Statistics (S.B.S.).

The report is a monthly review of selected agricultural produce available at the local markets in Upolu and Savaii based on the price data and volume index survey.  

The report highlighted that a significant increase in the supply of most agricultural produce to the local markets strongly contributed to the decline in the price index. 

The average value of selected produce supplied to the local markets at $47,400 in April 2020 increased 9 per cent from the previous month and was 30 per cent lower when compared with April 2019.

An average of 214 sellers trading at the local market was recorded in the month under review; 11 per cent higher than the previous month but 19 per cent lower when compared with the same month last year. 

The significant increases were recorded for all agricultural produce with the exception of ta’amu coconut, breadfruit, yam and cucumber supplies. 

When compared with the same month last year, current supply was 34 per cent lower.

Due to the increased availability of most agricultural produce, overall price level declined 7 per cent from the previous month. When compared with April 2019, the current overall price was 15 per cent higher. 

At 9,082 kilograms, the supply of taro in April 2020 rose 15 per cent from the previous month increase availability pushed its average price down 5 percent (to $2.27 per kilogram). 

When compared with the April 2019 supply of taro was 42 per cent higher while its average price was 9 per cent higher.  

The current supply of taro in the month under review contributed to an 8 per cent increase in volume when comparing the twelve months ending April 2020 over the twelve month ending April 2019. Price fell 4 per cent. 

The volume of banana supplied to the local markets in April 2020 rose 18 per cent (to 1,144 kilograms) from March 2020; a level that was 6 per cent higher than the same month a year ago.

Strong domestic demand pushed its average price up 12 per cent to $1.18 per kilogram. When compared with the same month last year, current price was 23 per cent higher.

When comparing the twelve months ending April 2020, banana supplies were 57 per cent higher while increased availability pushed its average price down 8 per cent.

Despite restriction of time for the closing of the local markets during the State of Emergency the number of sellers on the days surveyed in April 2020 increased 11 per cent to 214 sellers from the previous month and was 19 per cent lower when compared with the number of sellers in the same month a year ago.  

In April 2020, taro sellers at 55 were the largest group at the local markets increasing from 51 in the previous month but were lower than 56 in the same month last year. 

Pumpkin sellers followed recording an increasing total of 48 from 37 last month but were lower than 82 in the same month a year ago while coconut sellers increased to 43 from 42 in the previous month but were lower than 45 a year ago.

Cucumber sellers recorded a total of 21 decreasing from 23 last month but were higher than 18 in the same month last year. 

Sellers of banana recorded an increasing total of 19 from 16 in March 2020 but were lower than 22 in April 2019, while total sellers of Chinese cabbage remained at 11 from last month and a year ago.

Tomato sellers recorded a total of 10 increasing from 4 in the previous month but were lower than 11 in April 2019, while total sellers of head cabbage increased to 3 from 2 in March 2020 but were lower than 10 in the same month last year. 

Ta’amu, breadfruit and yam sellers all recorded a total of two each with ta’amu sellers increasing from 1 in March 2020 but were lower than four in April 2019 while total sellers of breadfruit fell from five last month and three in the same month last year followed by sellers of yams remaining unchanged from the previous month but were lower than four when compared with April 2019.  

The local market survey measures the price and volume of selected agricultural produce from the local markets at Fugalei, Taufusi, Vaitele, Afega, Saleimoa, Fasitootai, Savaia, and Salelologa every month. Prices for selected produce are taken from the Consumer Price Index. 

Data shown reflects the average availability and prices of selected produce.  This survey is conducted on each Thursday for rural markets on Upolu and Savaii and each Friday for urban markets on Upolu in the months under reference. 

Weights for selected produce have been revised using 2014 as the base period and have been incorporated starting from June 2016 report. 

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