Overall, prices of key commodities were mostly stable when compared to June 2021 (rice +1%, cooking oil +2%, mixed oil +4%), with the notable exception of egg prices that increased dramatically in July (+26%), and a smaller but steady increase in the price of chickpeas (+5%).
However, the overall stability masks variations at lower levels, with some areas experiencing higher price increases across a range of commodities due mostly to the surge in COVID-19 cases and ensuing mitigation measures (travel restrictions, stay-at-home orders, shop closures) that caused disruption in transportation and supply chains.
For eggs, the steep increase was due mostly to a surge in demand amidst rumors that eggs boost the immune system against COVID19, while for chickpeas, the price increase is due to low production this year and strong local demand. Prices for both commodities are also affected by transportation challenges and the increasing cost of transport.
For oil at area and state levels, disparities in price variation compared to last month can be seen, with higher increases recorded for mixed oil in Chin (+10%) and Magway (+7%) and for cooking oil in Magway (+9%) and Yangon (+5%). These increases were related to transport challenges mentioned above.
In Kayin, the prices of cooking oil, mixed oil, and chickpeas increased much more than elsewhere (+23%, +9%, +22% respectively) due to inaccessibility from COVID-19 travel restrictions, shop closures, compounded by extensive flooding in the second half of July.
16% of traders said they were experiencing scarcity in stock this month, a sharp increase from 5% last month. In addition, 19% said that if they ordered now, they did not think they could receive the goods within a week, with nearly half of them saying it would take 3-4 weeks. This is up from 8% last month.