Algeria: Pasta and couscous prices soar

In Algeria, the economic and health crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic has created shortages of essential food products, according to Algerian media. Other staple foods are registering price increases that are hurting small budgets.

Several products constituting the staple food of Algerians have disappeared from the stalls of grocers and supermarkets, denounces the population.

In addition, the majority of daily consumer products have shown price increases. According to the TSA news site, “the prices of almost all food products have increased significantly in recent weeks.”

Among the products that have become rare in Algeria, pasta, couscous, and other locally produced flour and wheat products. In question, the suspension of the subsidy of soft and hard wheat by the Algerian State at the beginning of September, when these basic materials are necessary for the manufacture of pasta and couscous.

In stores, packages of wheat semolina of 1 and 2 kilos have disappeared, while other products have experienced price increases, bringing a new blow to Algerian consumers already affected by the economic crisis, doubled by the crisis caused by covid-19.

Besides pasta, couscous and other wheat-based products, other foods have seen their prices increase, such as mayonnaise, a very popular condiment in Algeria, oil, milk and powdered milk, and margarine. The price increases vary from one product to another and sometimes reach 30 Algerian dinars or a little more than 2 Moroccan dirhams.

The surge in prices encountered in recent days in the country also concerns several other consumer products. Fruits, vegetables and meats are no exception to the rule and this mainly affects products grown in Algeria. Even seasonal fruits and vegetables are “too expensive” compared to what consumers are used to.

White meat has increased by nearly 200 dinars, while fruits such as tangerine, a seasonal fruit now costs 250 dinars, or nearly 18 dirhams per kilo. This rise in prices, which is combined with increasingly modest income in Algerian families, amplifies the crisis of confidence in Algeria, which has been living without a president since October 28.

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