Commodity Prices Rise as Christmas Nears

1600 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
The most affected commodity is sugar with a kilo now selling at 5,000 Shillings, up from 3,500 Shillings in November. The price of sugar started rising last week, first to 4,000 to 4,500 and a day later to 5,000 Shillings.

Prices of essential household commodities have sharply increased with just a few days to Christmas festivities. 

The most affected commodity is sugar with a kilo now selling at 5,000 Shillings, up from 3,500 Shillings in November. The price of sugar started rising last week, first to 4,000 to 4,500 and a day later to 5,000 Shillings.

Esther Nansubuga, a shopkeeper in Abaita Ababiri in Katabi Town Council along Kampala-Entebbe highway told Uganda Radio Network that retail prices were driven by the unexpected increment in the wholesale price from 190,000 to 220,000 Shillings for a 50-kilogramme bag last week.

However, when Uganda Radio Network visited Kikuubo business hub in downtown Kampala, the price of a 50-kilogramme bag of Kakira Sugar, the most affected brand, had fallen slightly from 220,000 Shillings to 205,000 Shillings. Kinyara and Lugazi sugar brands are trading at 200,000 Shillings per 50-kilogramme bag.

It is not yet clear why sugar prices have shot up yet Uganda is a surplus producer of the commodity. Uganda produces about 500,000 metric tonnes of sugar per annum and consumes about 350,000 metric tonnes, leaving a surplus of 150,000 tonnes.

Issa Sekitto, the spokesman of Kampala City Traders Association said they were studying the situation. He added that the association would issue a report on the rising prices. The report was not yet out by press time. 

Jim Kabeho, the Chairman of Uganda Sugar Manufacturers' Association was also out of reach, when contacted for a comment.

Other commodities whose prices have risen are rice trading at an average of 165,000 Shillings per bag up from 130,000 Shillings. Butto' cooking oil is now selling at 59,000 per carton, Maize flour at 110,000 per 50-kg bag and wheat flour at 50,000 Shillings per carton.

John Keuber, a trader from West Nile said he and many other up-country traders have purchased less of the affected commodities, with some skipping them altogether.

A consumer, Jude Tiabayo said the sharp increase in commodity prices has hit his family hard.
 
//Cue in: Priced have kind …
Cue out: … actually gone up.//
 
Meanwhile, upcountry travel is not picking up first like in previous run-ups to the festive season.
 
A booking clerk at Gaagaa Bus Service, one Mobutu, said unlike in previous seasons this time around bookings are significantly lower. He said it appears many people prefer to spend the end of year holiday in Kampala.

 

About the author

David Rupiny
In his own words, David Rupiny says, "I am literally a self-trained journalist with over 12 years of experience. Add the formative, student days then I can trace my journalism roots to 1988 when as a fresher in Ordinary Level I used to report for The Giraffe News at St Aloysius College Nyapea in northern Uganda.


In addition to URN for which I have worked for five years now, I have had stints at Radio Paidha, Radio Pacis, Nile FM and KFM. I have also contributed stories for The Crusader, The New Vision and The Monitor. I have also been a contributor for international news organisations like the BBC and Institute for War and Peace Reporting. I am also a local stringer for Radio Netherlands Worldwide.


I am also a media entrepreneur. I founded The West Niler newspaper and now runs Rainbow Media Corporation (Rainbow Radio 88.2 FM in Nebbi). My areas of interest are conflict and peacebuilding, business, climate change, health and children and young people, among others."