12 Apr 2022
Ministry of Economy continues its weekly communication with 40 outlets in the country to monitor prices of 300 commodities
Unjustified price hike is a violation of the law that exposes shop owners to legal consequences
The Ministry of Economy (MoE) confirmed the continuation of its periodic monitoring of 300 most sought-after basic commodities in the country’s markets, in partnership with the economic departments and regulatory authorities at the local and federal levels, through a weekly follow-up by the concerned work teams. More than 40 outlets and cooperative societies in all markets in the country are being regularly monitored to keep the prices of these goods in check.
The Ministry explained that these 300 commodities belong to 11 main categories, the most important of which are fish and seafood, meat and poultry, bread, grains and their products, dairy, cheese, eggs, oils, vegetables and fruits, water, juices, and cleaning materials, adding that it continues to follow up on the status of these commodities and their prices in the market. The Ministry assesses the extent to which these items are affected by various international developments and price fluctuations in their countries of origin, while also monitoring steep fluctuations in prices and ensuring the availability of these commodities in abundant quantities to effectively meet the needs of consumers in the country and maintaining the strategic stock of basic commodities.
MoE further stated that it continues to compare the selling prices of these commodities with their prices in its registered database and with the prices in neighboring countries. In addition, it is working to develop a shared digital database for commodity prices in GCC markets in order to ensure flexible, fast and continuous price comparisons. The Ministry also added that it matches the prices of these commodities with the FAO International Price Index for the most traded commodities in the world.
Furthermore, MoE explained that, based on these extended monitoring efforts and close follow-up on the market movement, it has approved a new policy regarding the pricing mechanism for basic consumer goods. Under this mechanism, these goods are divided into two main groups: the first is subject to the condition of prior approval in the event the supplier desires to raise its price as a result of the high import costs. In this case, they are required to apply for an approval via the Ministry of Economy website, through a system that is specifically designated for this service. The applicants must submit all evidence and data related to the increase in costs and their direct causes, so that the Ministry can study the request comprehensively and conduct a full review of the justifications and then decide on the approval and the percentage of approved price hike. This group includes more than 11,000 commodities including fresh and dry milk, fresh chicken and eggs, bread, flour, sugar, salt, rice and legumes, cooking oil, mineral water and others.
As for the second category of goods, MoE clarified that this category is exempted from the need for prior approval and that they are subject to supply and demand variations, explaining that these goods were chosen based on their abundance, high price competitiveness, and the large number of suppliers of these goods to ensure the existence of multiple alternatives in various markets of the country. This guarantees the stability of their prices in a natural way according to market mechanisms. This group includes a limited category of goods, most notably: biscuits, chocolates, confectionaries of all kinds, some cheese products, frozen food products, juices and ice cream, tea, coffee, cocoa and its products, wheat, oats, potato chips, and household cleaning materials and tools of all kinds.
The Ministry lauded the fruitful cooperation between various government entities and local and federal departments, highlighting the importance of partnership with suppliers and sales outlets in establishing best consumer practices in accordance with the UAE’s consumer protection law. Price control is an ongoing process and any unjustified price hike is a violation, which exposes its owner to legal consequences, the Ministry added.