22 C

Food prices are rising, citizens are stockpiling: If there is no other way, the state can intervene from commodity reserves

The country does not have much room for maneuver in terms of prices in a market economy, experts say. It has three mechanisms at its disposal - control through market inspectors, activating commodity reserves or allowing duty-free imports to maintain market stability and protect consumers. As it is not a state of emergency, the price and margins of basic foodstuffs cannot be limited by decree. In Macedonia, about 25.000 tons of oil are consumed annually, and only 10 percent of the needs are provided by domestic production.

- In such a situation, the state can not sit idly by and it is desirable to activate commodity reserves. On the one hand, it will balance the demand and calm the prices, and on the other hand, a kind of check and renewal of the stocks we have will be done. The inflationary spiral begins to unwind and must be responded to in a timely manner with the mechanisms available - Menderes Kuci, President of the Assembly of the Economic Chamber of Northwest Macedonia, told Sloboden Pecat. 

Kuci is adamant that in a market economy, state institutions do not have a direct impact on prices.

- At the moment, the prices on the world stock exchanges are increasing, and that spills over to us and affects the supply and demand. The middle class citizens can afford to make stocks and that disrupts the market, and the most disadvantaged are those with low incomes and who are forced to "rabush" to buy in small shops, and thus pay the most expensive. An immediate response is needed, because the greater economic consequences will fall on small producers and traders, as well as the ordinary citizen - adds Kuchi.

World stock prices have been rising for the tenth month in a row, which is reflected in the final price in trade. The list of the highest price increases at the moment is held by cooking oil and sugar, but there is also fodder. The oil has increased twice as much since the end of 2020 and is approaching the highest, psychological limit of 120 denars in 2008. 

At the moment on the Macedonian market there is no danger of shortage of cooking oil, although there is a slight increase in consumption of this item, because citizens these days buy several bottles.

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