It is customary to see in many countries around the world, on the eve of holidays and major events, promotions and discounts. On the eve of Mouloud, it is clear in the Kingdom that from the gas station to the supermarket, through the souks and other markets to be limited to that, many things have clearly become more expensive than customary.
But this phenomenon does not date from today, the basket of the housewife had moreover strongly verified it at its expense, these last months, with regard to the rise in the prices of fruits and vegetables, electricity, energy products at the pump, itou itou … Certainly, the world prices of raw food materials are reaching new heights, but for all that, Moroccans must not directly suffer the consequences and be affected by this insidious inflation which does not speak its name . To tell the truth and even certainly, the world figures of the increase in the prices of foodstuffs, at the world level give cause for concern with regard to the FAO Index (the United Nations for Food and Agriculture) which has fluctuated in May 2021, by 39.7% more than in May 2020.
And yet this overall average hides much higher price increases for certain foodstuffs such as cereals (a 40% voucher) and whose effects the Moroccan housewife has already experienced by getting their hands dirty. It is well known that when the price of wheat shifts, it pays off in cash in Egypt, Algeria, Nigeria, Morocco… as well as in all the markets that have become structural importers of this commodity. In addition, consumption patterns are changing and the shift from rural to urban is generating other lifestyles and therefore different food consumption habits.
In short, we are witnessing in Morocco and around the world, moreover, an unprecedented soaring in food prices since 2011., record year worldwide. It is in particular the increase in the prices of vegetable oils, sugar and cereals that is the cause. But roughly speaking, agricultural products have been propelled upwards due to the rise in most commodity prices, dominated in recent months by a rapid economic recovery. Obviously, agricultural products have therefore indirectly benefited.
In this hubbub, China is acting like the ugly duckling, importing twice as much food and other raw materials as usual. However, in Morocco, this upward trend, at the global level, necessarily has repercussions on our markets. No matter how much you are an agricultural producer and a good student in this area, at the end of the day, fruits, vegetables, cereals, oils and other food products will panic with their rising prices. If it is explained by a shortage of raw materials linked above all to a very strong demand at the world level, it does not justify that prices soar in one year sometimes by more than a third (fruits and vegetables, meat, fish, etc.) quarter (flour and cereal derivatives in addition to rice) and that they follow the global trend of nearly 40% for oils. On our stalls this is felt and more particularly with regard to basic food products.
Since August, we have seen in Morocco an increase or even peaks in the prices of these last products in particular, durum wheat, flour and derivatives, oil, butter, rice … with retail increases oscillating here and there between 1 dirham, 3 or even 5 dirhams and more depending on the food product as for the kilo of flour, or oil … And yet we do not tell you for fruits and vegetables, fish, meat and particularly poultry and eggs … Already the consumer price index (CPI) had recorded an increase of 1.4% in April 2021, compared to the same month of the previous year, indicates the High Commission to the plan (HCP). The first victim of this situation is of course the consumer whose purchasing power has melted because of a number of employer sectors not yet out of the hostel of the crisis or which are at a standstill, Dame Covid obliges as well as the many job losses, which inevitably impacts financial resources. In this context, therefore, one can wonder why even more punish the housewife. The Kingdom has control bodies and market gendarmes, like the Competition Council which must watch over the grain as an authority.