Sugar disappears following price rise [Archives:2006/917/Local News]

January 2 2006

SANA'A, Feb. 1 ) Yemeni markets witnessed recent price hikes in foodstuffs, particularly sugar, which suddenly jumped to 120 riyals, surprising citizens seemingly out of the blue.

The increase from 70 riyals per kilogram raised the price of a 50 kilogram bag to 5,600 riyals and 6,000 riyals in some remote towns.

The increased sugar price affected most families, as Yemenis greatly depend on sugar. The increase raised the price of many foodstuffs, such as juice, and problems arose between citizens and owners of businesses selling sugar-related commodities.

Government silence on the recent price hikes has fueled public outrage. Economists attribute the increases to confused economic policy. Most economists criticized the Ministry of Trade and Industry's remonstrative statements holding merchants responsible for the increase. A statement from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Sana'a assured that the increase in sugar prices is due to international increase.

The disappearance of sugar is attributed to merchant expectation of future price increases.