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Survey reveals increase in local agricultural food supplies

A nine per cent increase and the greater availability of local produce has led to a decline in average prices for May 2020.

This was revealed in a report on local market survey 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 Savai'i based on the price data and volume index survey.  

The key findings of the survey showcased an overall volume increase of 9 per cent while increased availability pushed average prices down by 9 per cent when compared to April 2020.  

The significant increases in the supply of vegetable largely impacted the overall rise in the volume index and the 9 per cent decline in the price index.

However, the value of supplies rose 11 per cent to $52,800 from the previous month.

Furthermore, an average of 230 sellers trading at the local market was recorded in the month under review; 7 per cent higher than the previous month but 16 per cent lower when compared with the same month last year. 

The volume of taro in May 2020 has declined by 32 per cent to 6,148 kilograms from April 2020; a level that was 13 per cent lower than the same month last year. 

Limited taro in the Local Markets pushed its average price up 11 per cent to $2.52 per kilogram. When compared with May 2019 current price was 2 per cent lower.

The current supply of taro in the month under review contributed to a 9 per cent increase in volume when comparing to the twelve months ending May 2020 over the twelve month ending May 2019 while price fell by 5 per cent. 

The supply of banana to the local markets in May 2020 rose 9 per cent to 1,243 kilograms from April 2020; a level that was 12 per cent higher than the same month a year ago. Strong domestic demand pushed its average price up 8 per cent to $1.28 per kilogram. The current price for banana revealed no change when compared with the same month last year.

When comparing the 12 months ending May 2020, over 12 months ending May 2019, banana supplies were 51 per cent higher while increased availability pushed its average price down 4 per cent.   

At an average of 100 kilograms, ta’amu supplies in May 2020 was more than tripled while increased availability pushed its average price down 47 per cent (to $4.34 per kilogram). This is the highest volume recorded for ta’amu since December 2019. When compared with May 2019, current supply of ta’amu was 80 percent lower while its average price was 41 per cent lower.

Current supply of ta’amu in the month under review contributed to a 42 percent decrease in ta’amu volume when comparing the twelve months ending May 2020 over twelve months ending May 2019 while limited availability pushed its average price up 8 per cent. 

 The coconut supplies in May 2020 remained unchanged from the previous month while its average price increased by 7 per cent to $1.01 per kilogram.

However, at an average of 76 kilograms, breadfruit supply in May 2020 was more than doubled from April 2020. Increase demand to the markets pushed its average price up 13 per cent to $1.94 per kilogram.  

The supply of yam in the month under review increased 37 per cent to 65 kilograms from the previous month while increased availability pushed its average price down 10 percent to $3.97 per kilogram.   

A general overview of all vegetable produce to the local markets in May 2020 revealed significant gains in all vegetable supplies.

The head cabbage supplies registered the largest increase of fivefold to 456 kilograms from April 2020 followed by cucumber supplies increasing more than double to 976 kilograms while tomato supplies also rose 63 per cent to 80 kilograms when compared to the previous month. Chinese cabbage supplies increased 12 per cent to 102 kilograms while pumpkin supplies rose 31 per cent to 4,370 kilograms from April 2020. 

Subsequent to the increase in the supply of all vegetable produce supplied to the local Markets average prices in the month under review decreased for all vegetable. 

The average prices for cucumber fell 19 per cent to $4.85 per kilogram while Chinese cabbage prices declined 11 per cent to $6.35 per kilogram from the previous month. 

And average prices for pumpkin fell 8 per cent to $4.44 per kilogram followed by tomato prices decreasing 7 per cent to $17.92 per kilogram while head cabbage prices declined 2 per cent to $9.90 per kilogram.   

Despite the time restriction imposed by the State of Emergency for the closing of the local markets the number of sellers on the days surveyed in May 2020 increased 7 per cent to 230 sellers from the previous month and was 16 per cent lower when compared with the number of sellers in the same month a year ago.

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