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Increase in food produce leads to price drop

A 26 per cent increase in the availability of selected local produce has led to a 13 per cent drop in their average prices for the month of September 2020.

This has been revealed in a monthly survey of agricultural produce at local markets by the Samoa Bureau of Statistics.

The bureau stated that based on its survey findings, there has been a significant increase in the supply of pumpkin, taro, head cabbage and tomato which has largely impacted the overall increase in the volume index and consequently a 13 per cent decline in the price index.

Furthermore, the value of supplies rose 8 per cent to $73,700 from the previous month while the total number of sellers decreased by 8 per cent to 282 from 306 in August 2020.

Despite the decrease in the volume of most agricultural produce, there were significant increases in the supply of pumpkin, taro, head cabbage and tomato that pushed the volume index up.

And when compared with the same month last year, the supply remained unchanged.

Lower prices of all agricultural produce with the exception of banana, breadfruit, and yam contributed to the decrease in the price index. When compared with September 2019, the current overall price was 7 per cent lower.

The survey has also revealed that the supply of taro to the local market in September 2020 has risen by 24 per cent (to 5,775 kilograms) from August 2020, which is a level that was 3 per cent higher than the same month last year. 

The average price of taro has also declined 7 per cent (to $2.85 per kilogram) and when compared with September 2019 the current price was 1 per cent higher.

Current supply of taro in the month under review contributed to a 14 per cent increase in volume, when comparing the twelve months ending September 2020 over the twelve month ending September 2019 while price fell by 1 per cent.

For other agricultural produce, the supply of bananas to the local markets in September 2020 decreased by 55 per cent (to 1,351 kilograms) from August 2020; while limited supplies led its average price rising to 24 per cent (to $1.36 per kilogram). And when compared with September 2019, current supply of bananas was 56 per cent lower while its average price was 14 per cent higher.

When comparing the twelve months ending September 2020 over twelve months ending September 2019, banana supplies were 9 percent higher while increased demand pushed its average price up 2 per cent.

However, ta’amu [giant taro] supplies in September 2020 declined by 66 per cent (to 63 kilograms) from the previous month while its average price remained unchanged. When compared with September 2019, current supply of ta’amu was 79 per cent lower while its average price revealed no change. 

The current supply of ta’amu in the month under review contributed to a 68 per cent decrease in ta’amu volume, when comparing the twelve months ending September 2020 over twelve months ending September 2019, while decreased demand pushed its average price down 4 per cent.

For coconut supplies in September 2020, it decreased by 28 per cent (to 3,515 kilograms) from the previous month, while weakened domestic demand pushed its average price down 4 per cent (to $1.02 per kilogram). And when compared with September 2019, the current supply of coconut was 48 per cent lower while its average price increased 6 per cent over the year.

The volume of coconut recorded in the month under review contributed to a 28 per cent decrease, when comparing the twelve months ending September 2020 over the twelve months ending September 2019, while its average price also fell 2 per cent.

The supply of yam in the month under review also fell 18 per cent (to 261 kilograms) from the previous month while decreased availability pushed its average price up 3 per cent (to $3.70 per kilogram). 

And when compared with the same month last year, current supply of yam was 23 per cent higher while increased supplies over the year pushed its average price down 20 per cent. Current supply of yam in the month under review contributed to a 5 per cent decline in volume in the twelve months ending September 2020 over the twelve months ending September 2019, while its average price fell 14 per cent.

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