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Prices are going up: Food prices continue to grow in Kyrgyzstan

Living in Kyrgyzstan becomes more and more expensive from day to day. The increase in allowances, pensions and wages of state employees does not help. After all, the rise in prices significantly outstrips both the growth of the economy and the incomes of the population.

Compared to 2021, the cost of the food basket has increased by 21 percent.

Compared to June 2022, prices have slightly decreased. This happened mainly due to a decrease in the cost of vegetables and fruits. However, meat prices, for example, continue to rise.

Food prices are going up

According to the National Statistical Committee of Kyrgyzstan, in January-September 2022, the increase in prices and tariffs in the republic amounted to 10.6 percent. Food and non-alcoholic beverages rose in price by 12.4 percent, alcoholic beverages and tobacco products — by 17 percent. Prices for non-food products increased by 7.6 percent, tariffs for services provided to the population — by 6.6 percent.

In September, as compared to August, the growth of prices and tariffs in the republic amounted to 0.2 percent. Including alcoholic beverages and tobacco products rose in price by 0.6 percent, non-food products — by 1.1 percent, tariffs for services provided to the population — by 0.4 percent. Prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages decreased by 0.4 percent.

Price of the following food products increased most of all for a month:

  • Unpasteurized unbottled milk — by 3.5 percent;
  • Fish — by 2.3 percent;
  • Animal fats — by 2.2 percent;
  • Beef — by 2 percent;
  • Confectionery — by 1.1 percent;
  • Flour — by 1.1 percent;
  • Bread — by 0.5 percent;
  • Pasta — by 0.8 percent.

An increase in consumer prices and tariffs in September 2022 was registered in all regions of the republic. The exceptions were Naryn (drop of 1.5 percent) and Issyk-Kul (by 0.1 percent) regions and the city of Osh (by 0.1 percent).

Food basket is getting more expensive

We go to the same supermarket every week and track prices for the same products. Analysis shows that compared to 2021, the cost of our food basket has increased by 968 soms. Compared to October 2018, when we started the experiment, it almost doubled — by 2,300 soms.

During the year, the price remained unchanged only for two products — potatoes and fish.

Compared to 2021, the price of cucumbers, cabbage, pears and carrots has decreased. This year’s good harvest and the fact that this autumn the weather has been warm for a long time have had an effect.

Other products are slowly but surely continue to rise in price. Moreover, there is a growth of even those prices that have remained relatively stable in past years. For example, rice has risen in price by 25 soms, buckwheat — by 16 soms, pasta — by 11 soms.

If we compare today’s prices with June of this year, we can even rejoice. The cost of the food basket decreased by 351 soms. This happened mainly due to the fall in prices for pears 3.5 times at once — from 265 to 76 soms. Onions, apples, carrots, cabbage, peppers, buckwheat and potatoes fell in price.

At the same time, meat has risen in price by 56 soms at once for three months.

In 2021, the cost of the food basket varied around 4,800-5,500 soms. This year, it stably keeps above 5,500 soms. For almost five months, from the end of January to the end of June, it was above 6,000 soms.

When life is not all sweet

Increase in the price of meat and sugar hit the wallets of Kyrgyzstanis the hardest. Rising prices for them has become a tradition in the country. Prices have been rising steadily for the third year. So far, the authorities have managed to stabilize the price of sugar at the level of 85 soms per kilogram.

Sugar has risen in price by 22 soms compared to 2021.

In addition, prices for chicken eggs and rice have risen significantly. It is interesting that bananas also rose in price for the first time in a long time. They were often cheaper than domestic apples and pears.

The data shows that since the end of August, the cost of our basket has been steadily growing. With the onset of cold weather, prices for vegetables and fruits began to rise. There are also difficulties with the supply of goods due to the geopolitical situation. The forecasts of the world’s leading financial institutions say that it is not worth waiting for any improvement in the near future.

At the end of 2022, inflation in Kyrgyzstan will be the highest among the countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia.

The Ministry of Finance of Kyrgyzstan expects that by the end of 2022 it will reach 15.3 percent. At the end of 2023, inflation in Kyrgyzstan is expected at 7.5 percent. The situation will stabilize in 2024, when it will be 5.6 percent, and in 2025 — 4.9 percent.