Prices of basic commodities have remained stable in a positive move showing that retailers are not engaging in speculation following the re-instatement of duty on some basic commodities in the national budget.
Although the duty reduction comes into effect on the 1st of January 2011, there were fears that retailers would engage in speculative activities upon the re-instatement of duty as they did following the Mid-Term Fiscal Policy Review in July.
Finance Minister, Mr. Tendai Bit announced the re-imposition of customs duty for prepackaged flour, salt and rice in order to utilise excess capacity in industry.
Duty rebate for bulk quantities was however retained.
A price survey carried out by ZBC News at supermarkets in the capital shows that there have been no significant changes in the price of most basic commodities in the past week.
Beef prices that were ranging from US$5.20 to US$9.90 a fortnight ago declined on the premium side, with prices pegged at between US$6 and US$8.45.
Mealie-meal prices were unchanged selling at between US$4.29 and US$4.55 per 10 kilogramme bag while rice is ranging from US$1.85 to US$3.45.
Flour prices were pegged at US$1.79 cents for a 2 kilogramme bag, showing a marginal 10 cent decline for the lowest priced flour on the market.
Margarine is selling for US$2.20 cents for 500 grams.
Cooking oil is selling for US$3.75 to US$5.90, reflecting a 45 cent increase for locally-manufactured cooking oil which is the highest priced on the market.