Ahmed Fadl-Khartoum

Despite the decline in the dollar exchange rate, commodity prices in the Sudanese markets remained unchanged, and even witnessed a continuous rise before the holy month of Ramadan entered, in light of the complete curfew imposed on the capital Khartoum due to the Corona pandemic.

Prices of fruits and vegetables rose dramatically this week to reach the price of "a dozen" (i.e. 12 pills) oranges 200 pounds (about $ 1.7) and a kilogram of guava 150 pounds (about 1.2 dollars) and a kilogram of tomatoes 90 pounds (less than $ 1). 

And Wael Ibrahim shows his surprise at the successive rise in prices, despite a limited recovery of the national currency (pound) against the dollar, as the exchange rate yesterday reached about 117 pounds, compared to 145 pounds before last week.

Economic journalist Sanhori Issa notes that several reasons have led to a crazy rise in commodity prices, including the seasonal exaggeration in Ramadan of the price of consumer goods, the Corona pandemic, speculation in the dollar, as well as monopoly and greedy practices. 

Rising prices,
Senhori explains to Al Jazeera Net that traders bought their commodities during the high price of the dollar in the range of 130 pounds to the dollar, so they will sell their goods in the account of 150 pounds to the dollar to ensure their profits. 

He expected the dollar exchange rate to drop now due to speculation by traders and their exploitation of the concerns resulting from the complete closure in Khartoum State to limit the spread of the Corona virus. 

Senhuri gives a comparison of two models within 10 days regarding my flour and oil commodities, where the kilogram of flour ten days ago reached 60 pounds and liters of edible oil 110 pounds, but now the kilogram of flour is sold at 100 pounds and one liter of oil at 250 pounds. 

He says that the differences in the official price in a commodity like sugar encourage speculators to monopolize and manipulate its prices, as the cost of producing a sugar (bag) mobile weighs 50 kilograms of 2,600 pounds from the factory, and now the price of the mobile itself has reached 4,500 pounds. 

Prices of fruits and vegetables rose remarkably before the start of the month of Ramadan (the island)

"Al-Wika" frenzy
in "Market 4" in the Beri neighborhood near the center of Khartoum. Market leaders complain of what they considered obscene prices in fruits. 

Buthaina Abdul Hakam (housewife) told Al Jazeera Net that she bought a dozen mangoes two weeks ago at 150 pounds, and when she returned to buy Ramadan supplies from the same market, she found the price of the dozen at 500 pounds. 

Buthaina holds the authorities responsible for not controlling the markets, and letting merchants take advantage of the increasing demand for goods due to the curfew and Ramadan. 

In the same market, the price of a dozen Indian lemon (grapefruit) reached 480 pounds, compared to 250 pounds last week.

The price of wicka (dried okra) - a main dish in the breakfast table in Sudan - jumped crazy, and the price of the mobile reached more than $ 200, while the okra kilogram is sold at 400 pounds.

An export movement
Economist Ahmed Khalil sees that there are other reasons behind the rise in consumer goods, saying that besides the increasing demand for these goods, there is now a wide export movement of Sudanese products to markets in the Arab region. 

Khalil adds to Al-Jazeera Net that during these days, meat, onions, vegetables, mango and lemon fruits are being exported to Egypt, the Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other countries.   

And he expected that the consumer goods markets would witness a recession with the advent of the month of Ramadan tomorrow, Friday, because most families now have sufficient stocks of food commodities. 

"Families have started storing everything that can be stored since the curfew was announced due to Corona, and now these families are completing some of their stocks in preparation for Ramadan, and then the demand will decrease to large limits that may lead to a decline in prices." 

Significant increases in public sector salaries will be swallowed by the market as soon as it lands (Al Jazeera)

Salary Increase
A member of the Executive Bureau of the Sudanese Society for Consumer Protection, Professor Abdel-Qader Abdel-Rahman believes that the Sudanese consumer has faced several problems during the month of Ramadan this year, including the record fluctuation of the dollar exchange rate, and the results of the curfew and the closure of crossings due to Corona. 

And Abdul Rahman reduces the benefit of the large increase announced by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning on salaries by 569% as of April this year. 

He explains that these large increases in public sector salaries will be swallowed up by the market once it comes down, which requires the search for practical solutions that are definitely controlling the exchange rate of the dollar. 

Observers fear the consequences of the increase in salaries on other sectors outside the public sector, which represents a modest percentage compared to workers in the private sector and the liberal professions.