December 2021: Cooking palaw becomes more expensive
In December 2021, the average cost of cooking palaw in Ashgabat was 89.3 Turkmen manat,which is 7.6% lower month-on-month compared to November 2021 (96.7 manat) and 41.9% higher year-on-year compared to December 2020 (63 manat).
Prices of all palaw ingredients, except for carrots rose year-on-year in December 2021: flour (141%), followed by cooking oil (67%), beef (57%), onions (14%), and rice (10%), (see Figure 1). The price of carrots decreased by 46% compared to the previous year (December 2020).
On an annual basis, the highest price increases in December 2021 were observed for flour (141%), cooking oil (67%) and beef (57%). According to the FAO’s Food Price Index, international wheat prices increased annually by 31.3%, meat prices by 12.7%, and vegetable oil prices surged by a 65.8% in 2021. Therefore, for all three products local trends are consistent with international ones and the local changes in oil prices are particularly close to figures observed in the international market.
The price increase of cooking oil (67%) in Ashgabat is on par with what was observed in international vegetable oil prices (65.8% increase). Only a small share of cooking oil is produced domestically and the country imports almost all its consumed cooking oil from abroad, mainly from Russia. According to the latest figures, in November, cooking oil prices rose by 10.8% in Russia year-on-year. On top of that, due to the local shortages, Russia implemented export duties for sunflower oil, which came into force in September 2021. The duties are set to expire by August 2022. However, the Russian government is considering extending it even further.
Prices of carrots have been going down for three months in a row since the first publication of Palaw Index reports and they fell by 13%, 18%, and 46%, respectively year-on-year in October, November, and December of 2021. According to the data from FAO, production of carrots in Turkmenistan in 2020 was 71,650 tons and over the last 10 years the volume of production has been hovering around 70,000 tons per year. Trade statistics reveal that the volume of exported carrots to Russia drastically increased more than 7 times from 40 tons in 2020 to 302 tons in 2021. The production data is not yet available for 2021, but it can be assumed that the harvest of carrots increased in 2021. The local media reported that the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs in Turkmenistan harvested 86.7% more fruits and vegetables in the first 5 months of 2021 compared to the same period of time in 2020. However, the disaggregated data for each vegetable is not available in the publication.
Dear reader, why do you think the price of carrots has significantly decreased, while prices of other ingredients have kept rising?