Media in Iran report another spike in food prices

Food prices are rising in Iran, with retailers saying supplies have dwindled, while officials insist there is plenty of sugar, oil and other necessities stockpiled.

Conservative news site Mehr published the latest report on the price hike on Friday, as numerous newspapers and websites covered the issue throughout this week.

Mehr said a kilo of sugar is now offered for more than a dollar, which is a lot of money for an Iranian worker earning $150 a month. Rice, another main staple, fetched up to $4 a kilo.

Retailers have also started raising the price of vegetable cooking oil, as they say supplies from producers have dwindled.

Food prices are said to have increased by more than 60% since the start of 2021 and higher inflation could occur if the government reduces import subsidies according to a decision of the parliament to save money.

Officials said Thursday that President Ebrahim Raisi’s government has decided not to implement the law to cut subsidies for the time being. One official insisted that last month the central bank earmarked $11 billion for imports, although he said about $4 billion was for essential goods. He did not specify which imports were covered by the remaining $7 billion.

Prices for most essential goods are theoretically set by the government, but the private sector often ignores guidelines based on supply and demand. Many complain to the media that traders are inflating prices, perhaps with the help of government bureaucrats and politicians.

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