Sudden increase of wheat prices in Yemeni markets [Archives:2007/1038/Local News]

April 2 2007

SANA'A, Apr. 1 – The price of wheat has increased dramatically in the Yemeni market as the price of wheat sack increased from YR3250 to reach YR3500 on Friday.

This price increase comes as result of a message, sent by Yemeni Economic Corporation Brig. Ali Mohammed Al-Kuhlani, to the parliment dennouncing the lack of strategic wheat stock and the rise in price expected in coming days, according to tradesmen.

Al-Kuhlani pointed out the last offer he received was US $305 per ton and accused the Ministry of Finance and Yemen's Central Bank of dealing irresponsibly with President Saleh and the Prime Minister's directives together with Parliament recommendations regarding supplying a strategic stock.

President Saleh earlier asked the corporation to import wheat to compensate for the insufficiency of the supplied quantities and the price increase.

In last Tuesday's session, Member of Parliament Shawqi Shamsan demanded that Parliament discuss a document regarding the lack of strategic stock and expected price increase. However, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament did not respond to this demand.

MP, and member of the Trade and Industry Committee Saleh Fareed declared the document does reflect the randomness and lack of planning on the government's part and its irresponsibility towards citizens' issues.

A member of Yemeni Socialist Party block in the parliment called people to demonstrate against the deteriorating situation, while a report submitted by the Trade Committee earlier revealed a monopoly on the part of businessmen and government indifference in this regard.

For his part, MP Abdul Karim Shaiban disclosed the existence of special accounts and expenses not included in the state budget and further accused Finance Minister Saif Al-Asali of trying merely to keep his post rather than improving his Ministry's performance, combat corruption and protect public money. He also asked him to abolish any accounts not included in the budget.

Al-Asali considered this criticism to be revenge against him because of his past in Islah and his decision to join the General Peoples' Congress government. Other consumer commodities have witnessed a price increase including flour, yogurt, vegetable oil, milk, and sugar.