EghtesadOnline: The Statistical Center of Iran has released a new report on food price changes in the Iranian month ending Dec. 21.
According to the report, the biggest month-on-month price rise was recorded for tomatoes with 171.1%. The average price of a kilogram of tomatoes was at 107,621 rials (83 cents) for the month under review.
The second and third biggest month-on-month price increases were registered for onions with 24.6% and cucumbers with 14%.
A kilogram of onions was sold at 39,904 rials (31 cents) and a kilogram of cucumbers went for 65,889 rials (51 cents) last month, Financial Tribune reported.
Eight out of 24 food items under SCI review saw their prices decline in the ninth Iranian month (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) compared with the month before. The sharpest of such price decrease was recorded for oranges at 6.8%, followed by beef with 3.7% and tomato paste with a 3.4% month-on-month deflation.
A kilogram of oranges was sold at 56,860 rials (44 cents), a kilogram of beef went for 814,528 rials ($6.28) and a kilogram of tomato paste was sold at 180,783 rials ($1.4).
When compared with last year's similar month, the retail prices of tomatoes during the month under review increased by 106.8% to register the highest year-on-year price rise for a food item as well.
This is the second month in a row tomatoes are listed among food items experiencing the biggest price rise.
The wild rise in the price of tomatoes reportedly stems from a supply shortage in the domestic market.
With the aim of regulating the domestic market, the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade imposed duties on exports of tomatoes as of Dec. 22, Director General of the ministry's Economic Affairs and Commercial Policies Office Mohammad Reza Kalami Bajestan said recently.
According to Asadollah Kargar of the Central Fruit and Vegetable Market of Tehran, besides the shortage of supply, other reasons behind the rising prices of tomatoes include frostbite, increase in transportation costs and unregulated exports.
“Iran has been exporting tomatoes to Pakistan in recent weeks,” the head of the Iranian National Union of Agricultural Products, Reza Nourani, said last month.
Nourani also said exported products were cultivated in greenhouses due to the cold weather in autumn, adding that the volume of exports will increase gradually.
On Nov. 13, the Pakistani local media cited sources in Pakistan government as saying that the government was considering the import of tomatoes from Iran to curb the price hike in Pakistan.
“We will consider allowing the import of tomatoes from Iran,” Ministry of National Food Security Federal Secretary Muhammad Hashim Popalzai told Dawn.
Nourani said on Saturday that exports have now come to a halt due to high prices cited by Iranian exporters to Pakistan.
Last year saw the export of tomatoes, except for crops produced in greenhouses, banned amid shortages in the domestic market and the ensuing rise in prices.
The ban was subsequently lifted after adequacy of supply to the market was ensured.
The second and third biggest year-on-year price rises in the same month among food items were registered for packed foreign tea with 86.1% and cucumbers with 54.5%.
A kilogram of packed foreign tea was sold at 580,035 rials ($4.4) and a kilogram of cucumbers was sold at 65,889 rials (51 cents) last month.
With a coefficient of 26.64%, the Consumer Price Index of “food and beverages” stood at 224.7 in the month ending Dec. 21, indicating a 4.2% increase compared with the month before.
The “food and beverages” index registered a year-on-year increase of 28.7% compared with the similar month of last year.
The CPI of “food and beverages” group in the 12-month period ending Dec. 21 increased by 55.7% compared with last year’s corresponding period.