Commodity prices expected to rise further in coming weeks

Shoppers in Kigali will have to dig deeper into their pockets to buy some of the essential items following price increases for a range of commodities over the past four weeks.

Shoppers in Kigali will have to dig deeper into their pockets to buy some of the essential items following price increases for a range of commodities over the past four weeks. 

A mini-survey by Business Times conducted around different city markets indicates that prices of foodstuffs, have for instance, increased at least by 20 per cent over the past month.

“The price of banana rose to Rwf250 per kilogramme from Rwf200, while Irish potatoes cost Rwf300, up from Rwf280 a week ago,” said a trader in Kimironko market.

He said prices for some commodities went up by almost 50 per cent over the period, a situation that could affect low-income earners. Rwanda’s headline inflation was up in April at 0.9 per cent year-on-year compared to the month of March.

A kilo of cassava flour is now at Rwf400 in City Market, Nyarugenge District compared to Rwf200-Rwf300 different city markets previously.

Vendors who talked to Business Times said commodity prices have been going up for the past three weeks and the trend is expected to continue, especially following the recent increase in fuel pump prices from Rwf810 to Rwf840.

The rise in commodity prices has also affected traders, with some saying buyers have reduced.

Eugenie Nyiramana, an Irish potato vendor in Kimisagara Market, said following price increase to Rwf280 for a kilo of potatoes, from Rwf220, buyers now prefer rice and maize flour whose prices are still low.

Beans went up from Rwf400 per kilo to Rwf600, beef costs Rwf2,500, from Rwf2,300, onions are at Rwf800 a kilogramme compared to Rwf600 previously, while a kilogramme of carrots goes for Rwf600 from Rwf500 in different city markets. Nyiramana attributted the increase to low supplies.

However, prices for items like bread, milk, soap, salt and sugar were unchanged in markets and shops around the city suburb markets.

Traders expect prices to increase further when the dry season starts in a few weeks.

business@newtimes.co.rw