Tomato, Potato, Onion Register Price Decrease in February

As many as 19 commodities registered a price decrease, 26 commodities an increase while the prices of 16 commodities remained the same during February 2011 as compared to January 2011, according to FAFEN Retail Price Monitor for the month of February released here Thursday.

The 19 commodities registered an overall price decrease of 8% while 26 commodities registered an average price increase of 4%.

Important food items, like tomato, potato, onion, eggs and sugar registered a considerable decrease in their prices in February as compared to their prices in January, 2011 while the prices of cooking oil, ghee, fruit, chicken, pulses, bread and rice increased.

FAFEN monitors collected the prices of 52 commodities on February 10, 2011 at designated retail outlets in 125 towns of 79 districts in four provinces. The highest decrease was registered in the price of tomato, which decreased by 48%. The price of onion experienced a further decrease of 32% and that of potato by 11%. Commodities like sugar, gur and desi shaker that involved sugar cane as the main input in their production, experienced a further decrease of 9%, 4% and 3% in their respective prices. The decrease in the prices of all these commodities is attributable to the increased supply due to harvesting season of their respective crops in different parts of the country.

The prices of commodities like eggs, LPG and tea that experienced an increase in the previous month registered a respective decrease of 20%, 7% and 2% in their prices because of the relative respite from cold weather during this month in various parts of the country. The consumers did not get any respite in the prices of vegetable ghee and cooking oil, the prices of which further increased by 7% each during the reporting month.

Of the 26 commodities registering a price increase, the highest increase was observed in the price of kinnow, the price of which registered an increase of 15%. The prices of cooking oil and vegetable ghee further went up by 7% during February. The prices of same commodities had increased in January as well. Similarly, prices of chicken broiler, meat and live, increased by 9% and 6%, respectively. Rice Basmati and broken each experienced a price increase of 4% in February, 2011. A 3% increase was registered in the price of chapatti (tanoor bread) in February as compared to its price in January, 2011.

FAFEN compared the data collected by its Governance Monitors with the Sensitive Price Index of the Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS), which revealed differences in the prices of many items collected from the same cities. In some items, the prices listed by the FBS were higher than FAFEN’s, and in some instances they were lower.

About FAFEN:

FAFEN is a network of 30 civil society organizations working to foster democratic accountabilities in Pakistan. It is governed by Trust for Democratic Education and Accountability.