Palaw Index October / 2023

The price of sunflower oil continues a downward trend.

In October 2023, the average price for preparing palaw in Ashgabat stood at 68.2 Turkmen manat, showcasing a significant 19.2% decrease from the same month in 2022, during which it was recorded at 84.5 manat. Additionally, there was a 1.3% decrease from the preceding month, September 2023, when the cost was 69.1 manat. The FAO’s Food Price Index indicated a noteworthy average year-on-year decrease of 10.9% in global food prices in October 2023.

In October 2023, Turkmen public witnessed price decreases across all products except for carrots and onions when compared to October 2022 on a year-on-year basis. Carrot prices surged by 11.1%, while onion prices increased by 7.4% in October 2023 compared to the same month in the previous year. However, prices for other products experienced declines, notably in the price of sunflower oil, which plummeted by 44.0%. Following this, there were decreases in the prices of wheat flour (-41.8%), rice (-16.5%), and beef (-13.9%), as depicted in Figure 1.

Carrot prices have stabilized

Carrot prices have finally stabilized, showing a year-on-year increase of 11.1% after experiencing substantial growth in the preceding two months at 51.5% in August 2023 and 62.7% in September 2023. The cost of 1 kilogram of carrots increased from 3.1 manat in October 2022 to 3.4 manat in October 2023. However, in a month-on-month comparison, carrot prices plummeted from 5.5 manat in September 2023 to 3.4 manat in October 2023, marking a significant 37.8% decrease.

This considerable decline is attributed to the recent harvest of carrots in Turkmenistan, which started in late September. The new harvest resulted in an increased supply of carrots, consequently leading to reduced prices compared to the preceding month (September 2023). It’s important to note that Turkmenistan’s carrot consumption relies predominantly on domestic harvests, with minimal reliance on imports.

 Sunflower oil prices continue to drop

Between October 2022 and October 2023, the price of 1 litre of sunflower oil in Turkmenistan decreased by 44%. This decline aligns with the trend observed in the FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index, which indicated a global decrease of 20.7% in international vegetable oil prices during October 2023 compared to the previous year. This suggests a widespread reduction in cooking oil prices worldwide. It is important to note that Turkmenistan heavily relies on imported cooking oil, primarily from Russia, as it is not self-sufficient in this regard.

In October 2023, wholesale sunflower oil prices in Russia were 75,500 rubles per tonne (equivalent to 791 USD using the October 2023 exchange rate). Comparatively, one year earlier, in October 2022, sunflower oil prices in Russia were 67,362 rubles per tonne (equivalent to 1093 USD using the October 2022 exchange rate). While the ruble prices of cooking oil increased from October 2022 to October 2023, the weakening value of the ruble against the USD led to a drop in sunflower oil prices when purchased in USD, declining by 27.6% from 1093 USD per tonne to 791 USD per tonne during this period.

Correlation between palaw prices and the black market rate

Starting in April 2022, there has been an ongoing decrease in palaw prices. Initially, this decline was linked to the fluctuations in the USD/manat exchange rate on the black market. However, this connection appears to be weakening in recent months. Since January 2022, the exchange rate has stabilized at around 19 manat, which has resulted in a reduced impact on palaw prices. The Palaw Index has primarily dropped in price due to the declining prices of sunflower oil and wheat flour, when compared to the last year.


Prices of ingredients in the Palaw Index are collected for 1 kg of onion, carrot, beef, rice, and flour, and 1 liter of cooking oil. Based on the methodology, in order to cook palaw for a family of four, we use 0.3 liters of cooking oil, 0.5 kg of onion, 1 kg of carrots, 0.6 kg of beef, 1 kg of rice, and 0.5 kg of flour in our formula. Please click here to learn more about the methodology of the Palaw Index.

Progres team strives to make Palaw Index reports as inclusive as possible by tracking the price changes of palaw in all major cities of Turkmenistan. Therefore, we kindly ask you to help us in collecting the prices by filling this out the form.

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