The last minute shopping triggered by fears that the market may not open on Christmas Day forced butchers and market vendors to increase prices of foodstuffs in Kigali City, as demand was increasing.
The high demand resulted to some foods especially chicken increased by Frw1,000—the highest price in the history of Rwanda.
The surged of prices on Christmas-eve came raised concerns from consumers that the strong demand could push prices further this season.
And indeed, Christmas shoppers were not amused at all.
“Rwanda is becoming more like Europe. I didn’t expect prices of foodstuffs to increase like this,” Rassaou, one of the shoppers at Kimironko market said.
Here, a kilogramme of beef increased to Frw1300 from Frw1000—the previous day but the number of consumers demanding for beef kept increasing.
“I stocked 400 kilogrammes this morning but the beef is over,” Nalongo, a butcher at Kimironko market said.”
Adding: “Salongo is at the abattoir. He is bringing more beef to try to meet the demand.”
Chicken was also selling like a hotcake. At Kimironko Rwanda’s largest market chicken prices shot to between Frw3,500 to Frw4,500 from between Frw2,500—Frw3,500 previously.
Traders justify the prices.
“Christmas and New Year come once and it’s the only time we traders in the market make huge profits,” said Mukandore.”
However some vendors said they were forced to to hike the prices partly because of difficulties in delivering foodstuffs from villages to the city this season. “It is not very easy to transport foodstuffs from the village,” Gashumba said.
A kilogramme of fish increased to Frw1,300 from Frw1,200 while peas shot up to Frw700 from the previous Frw600.