Retail Margins Push Up Prices

Market PixIndex trend analysis has revealed that “uncontrolled” retail prices in most markets have contributed to inflation in the country.

“Prices in retail trading seem to be uncontrolled because within the same market traders are ready to trade at various margins, some at ridiculous margins. Often traders expect buyers to bargain with them and therefore, would peg the introductory price very high.

“Where buyers are not good at bargaining, they are often short-changed by these traders,” the GNA Market Watch team observed in their report for the week ending August 22.

The Esoko-Ghana News Agency Commodity Index (EGCI) closed the week at 25197 points in wholesale trading (EGCI-W) and 29661 points in retail trading (EGCI-R).

“The overall trend reveals a spread of 4464 points between wholesale and retail trading, and the weighted nature of the index shows that this is highly significant on price changes in the market generally,” the GNA commodity market analysts further observed.

Whereas wholesale price movements could easily be explained, retail price movements can be deceptive because when there is an available stock “market queens” could still connive with traders to control the price in the market.

“This trend is worrying. For instance, the price of cassava in retail and wholesale trading showed a 21 pesewa spread. Whereas in wholesale trading a kilo of fresh tubers traded at 41 pesewas, in retail trading it was 70 pesewas. Also, there was a spread of 50 pesewas with wheat,” the GNA Market Watch team reported.

The team also observed that in general trading, tomato prices in Accra and Tamale fell sharply after the previous week’s hikes.

In Tamale, the price of a paint rubber of the commodity dropped to GH¢12.00 from the high of GH¢20.00 at the previous close level on Friday 15 August.

GNA Market Watch observed that in the two main markets of Aboabo and the Tamale Central markets in the Tamale metropolis, prices of other commodities remained mixed — either on the rise, stable or fell.

For instance, the price of a paint rubber of onions is still being sold at GH¢30, unchanged from last week’s levels.

Three tubers of medium size yam sold at GH¢5.00, millet/sorghum at GH¢3.50 per bowl, and cowpea at GH¢5.00 bowl measure.

At the Makola Market in Accra, prices were slightly higher. The price of a small bucket of tomatoes sold between GH¢5.00 and GH¢7.00, depending on the size.

The price of three fingers of ripe plantain which sold at GH¢2.00 in the previous week sold at GH¢3.00 in the week under review.

Three small tubers of yam sold for GH¢5.00 and a cup of white beans which previously sold at GH¢2.00 closed the week at Gh¢3.00.

At the Tema Station Market a bowl of groundnut sold for GH¢9.00, while a bowl of pepper sold at GH¢5.00. with an “olonka” of ripe pepper selling at GH¢4.00.

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