Agricultural produce dropped in April: report

There was an overall decrease of 7 per cent in agricultural produce and weak domestic demand pushed average prices down in April this year.

The findings were published in a report released by the Samoa Bureau of Statistics (S.B.S.) and was based on a local market survey.

The survey measures the price and volume of selected agricultural produce from the local markets at Fugalei, Taufusi, selected urban roadside stalls, Vaitele, Afega, Saleimoa, Savaia, and Salelologa every month. 

According to the report, the total number of sellers at local markets increased by 8 per cent to 255 from 237 in March 2021 with 55 per cent comprising staple produce sellers and 45 per cent vegetable produce sellers.

“The local market survey in April 2021 showed overall volume drop of 7 per cent while weak domestic demand pushed average prices down 7 per cent when compared to March 2021,” reads the report.

Furthermore, the report stated that there was a decrease in the supply of taro and coconut produce which influenced the decline in the volume index. 

The value of supplies also fell by 10 per cent to $50,000 from the previous month.

Significant decreases were recorded for taro, ta’amu, coconut, head cabbage and Chinese cabbage supplies. The current supply is 28 per cent higher than the same month last year.

“Decreased domestic demand for most agricultural produce prompted overall price to drop 7 per cent from the previous month.

“Lower prices were recorded for all agricultural produce with the exception of yam and tomato. 

“When compared with April 2020, the current overall price level was 18 per cent lower.”

The supply of taro to the local markets in April 2021 fell by 32 per cent (to 8,496 kgs) from March 2021. While weakened demand for taro pushed its average price down 6 per cent (to $1.63 per kg) from the previous month.

“At 2,707 kgs, the average supply of banana on the days surveyed increased 73 per cent from the previous month. Significant increase in the supply of banana led to its average price declining 8 per cent (to $0.93 per kg).

“At an average of 36 kgs, ta’amu supply in April 2021 dropped 68 per cent from the previous month. Weakened domestic demand for ta’amu pushed its average price down 1 per cent (to $3.66 per kg).

“Average volume for coconut fell 16 per cent (to 4,854 kgs) from the previous month, while its average price remained unchanged at $1.01 per kg. Current availability of coconut is 18 per cent higher than the average availability in April 2020, while average price also increased 7 per cent over the year.”

For the volume of breadfruit supplied to the local markets in April 2021 increased more than tenfold while increased availability of breadfruit pushed its average price down 15 per cent (to $1.25 per kg). When compared with the previous year, supply of breadfruit was more than 9 times higher, while its average price was 28 per cent lower. 

The supply of yam increased more than tenfold from the previous month, while increased demand of yam pushed its average price increased by 26 per cent ($4.51 per kg). Current supply of yam showed no change. 

In addition, the supply of vegetable produce to the local markets experienced significant increases for all vegetable produce with the exception of head cabbage and Chinese cabbage recording a 2 per cent (to 432 kgs) and 5 per cent (to 164 kgs) decline respectively.

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