The mid-month consumer basket for August has risen marginally as anticipated due to price increases on some commodities resulting from the re-introduction of duty at the beginning of the month.The cost of living as depicted by the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) low income urban earner monthly basket for a family of six increased from US$504 in July to US$505.21 in mid-August.
The price of salt went up by 20 cents, tomatoes 7 cents and beef 40 cents in addition to goods like cooking oil and mealie-meal on which duty was raised.
CCZ Executive Director, Ms. Rosemary Siyachitema said the cost of food has been increasing by a dollar each week since the month began.
â€œEvery week the basket has gone up by a dollar, especially mealie-meal and cooking oil. Generally, a 20 kilogramme bag cost US$8 to US$8.50 but it has now gone up to US$9.70 and is edging towards US$10. Imported cooking oil used to cost between US$4 and US$4.30 but now costs as much as US$4.70,â€ said Ms Siyachitema.
The price increase for maize meal has been effected despite assurances which were given by the grain millers that there will be no price increases except if the price of grain rises.
The larger share of cooking oil on the market is however the imported brands ranging between US$3.99 and US$4.85 for a 2-litre bottle, while the locally manufactured cooking oil is fetching as much as US$5.09.
The CCZ noted that locally manufactured products are still not being produced and supplied at adequate levels resulting in them being uncompetitive compared to goods coming from South Africa.