Food Prices expected to go down, says Maria

Consumers who have been grapling with the sharp increases in the cost of food items should get some relief in the near future.

Economic Affairs Commissioner Maria Buncamper Molanus told reporters on Wednesday that a group of wholesalers had informed her that food prices are on the decline which will be passed on to retailers. As a result, the cost of food items on store shelves is expected to be reduced in the near future.

Consumers and a number of letter writers have been complaining about the high prices particularly for food items over the past weeks. Consumers argued that although businesses had attributed the increase in 2008 to the rising oil prices, there was no reflection of a decrease no that the price of oil has been significantly reduced. 

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Buncamper Molanus attributed the decrease to the fact that ethanol, produced from corn is no longer being produced as had been rampant last year when the price of oil had risen sharply.

”Now that the oil prices have gone down, ethanol is no longer an economically feasible product to produce. So corn that was been used to feed animals and make other food products now being used for these purposes.”

”This is a positive development” she noted, adding ”The food prices impacts the local community directly…That in itself is a welcomed development.”

In the meantime, government is still reviewing the maximum price controlled basket of goods and will determine soon whether any items should be adjusted or if anything should be added in the basket. Buncamper Molanus said if the price of any items under consideration is already fairly priced, it will not be added to the basket of goods.

”Within the coming weeks, we should have some conclusion as to whether or not the basket of goods will be adjested and whether or not the list will be continued or whether new products will be added” she said.