Food prices are expected to come down in the local market soon as supply has started stabilising in the international market, according to the senior official of a leading hypermarket here.
Mohammed Altaf, director of Lulu Hypermarket, told The Peninsula yesterday that the pro-active measures being adopted by food exporting countries have resulted in streamlining the supplies in the global market. The impact of this development would be felt in Qatar very soon, he added.
The official also claimed that the Lulu Hypermarket in Doha has already frozen the prices of rice, oil and some other essential commodities in the interests of the consumers.
“We have frozen the prices at the December 2007 level and the freeze will continue throughout this year. And we will be the first to reduce the prices when they come down in the international market,” said Altaf.
The Doha branches of Carrefour, another leading hypermarket chain, have recently announced a freeze on the prices of 50 commodities including certain brands of rice, sugar and milk. The UAE branches of both Carrefour and Lulu were the first in the region to announce a similar price freeze in response to a request from the country's government.
“The prices of most essential commodities, except rice, milk and wheat, have already started stabilising in the local and international markets. The high prices have reduced the demand for certain commodities, as people switched over to alternative products. This is expected to result in a fall in the prices very soon," said Altaf.
He added that the prices of rice, wheat and milk would also see a decline in one or two months.
“India will soon lift the ban on export of non-Basmati rice and this will have a positive impact on the local market. Other food exporting countries have also initiated measures to address the emerging food crisis,” he added. India being one of the major exporters of rice to Qatar, the ban has led to an increase in the demand for other brands and a consequent rise in the prices.
He said the food shortage was not likely to snowball into a major crisis all over the world. “Actually there is no shortage of food in the world and the problem is with distribution. The issue is likely to be resolved as many countries have come up with stern measures to streamline distribution," he added.
Follow us on our social media channels: