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Home » Morocco’s Food Price Inflation Slows in April, Remains Elevated

Rabat – After reaching record-high levels in the first months of 2023, food price inflation is showing signs of recovery in April but remains overall elevated.

According to a monthly update on inflation from Morocco’s Higher Planning Commission (HCP), food inflation rose by a moderate 3.2% compared to the previous month. However, food inflation remains elevated compared to one year earlier, as the annual food inflation rate rose to 17.2% at the end of the first four months of 2023.

Meanwhile, inflation in non-food products stagnated, recording a 0% month-on-month rise, HCP data shows. Prices of non-food products rose at an annual rate of 3.2% in the first four months of 2023. The overall inflation rate stood at 1.4% in April.

Food inflation has affected some food categories more than others. The HCP report details that “fish and seafood” saw a 13.3% monthly increase, fruits 11.4%, and vegetables 5.4%.

Meat products also saw a significant increase in prices averaging 4.1%, while other dairy products rose by 0.5%. For non-food products, fuel prices dropped by 2.9%.

Food price inflation

Food price inflation is posing a significant challenge to Morocco’s economy threatening the national purchasing power.

Food prices started to hike in 2022 on the backdrop of the worst drought to hit the country in over three decades. The drought affected market supply, causing prices to rise to dramatic levels. The effect of last year’s drought was especially felt in the first months of 2023. Food prices rose at an annual pace of 18.4% at the end of February 2023.

For much of 2022, the prevailing political rhetoric indicated that food price inflation, like that of energy prices, was largely imported, and that it would gradually weather.  

In recent months, HCP and Morocco’s central bank, Bank Al-Maghrib (BAM), have adopted a different view, arguing that food inflation is a domestic issue given that food supply in the country including vegetables and fruits is sourced from Moroccan farmers, not imported.

“Inflation should be considered as a structural and domestic truth, and we should adapt to it, much like drought,” Head of HCP Lahlimi said in March, adding that it is caused by a “shortage in production or supply and not demand.” 

Source : MoroccoWorldNews

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