Drought to take further toll on food prices

Food prices could continue to increase in May due to a weak harvest stemming from a serious drought in the previous months, representatives from the food industry have said.

Food manufacturer Elita Gıda CEO Ibrahim Ethem Can told Today’s Zaman there was a 10-15 percent decrease in irrigated land in the Cukurova region of Adana province, adding that the effects of the drought on harvest and food prices will be seen in May.

Similarly, Reis Gıda Chairman Mehmet Reis stressed on Monday that even if it rains in May and June, it is not possible to reach the harvest amounts of 2012 due to the severe drought in the last three months.

“Global climate change has reduced rainfall and food prices in Turkey will increase in parallel with global food prices,” said Reis.

April saw the highest monthly increase in the consumer price index (CPI) for clothing and footwear at 13.1 percent, data from the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) showed on Monday. Other large increases in the CPI were seen in furnishing and household equipment at 1.57 percent, food and non-alcoholic beverages at 1.42 percent, education at 0.97 and health services at 0.93 percent.

The highest annual increase in the CPI was seen in the category of transportation at 13.84 percent, followed by food and non-alcoholic beverages at 13.15 percent, hotels, cafes and restaurants at 12.48 percent and furnishing and household equipment at 8.84 percent.

The data also reveal that the highest monthly increase in the CPI for April took place in the eastern districts of Malatya, Elazıg and Bingol at 1.81 percent.

Transportation costs in Turkey fell by 0.54 percent in April, the greatest price drop in the CPI. Another category that saw a price decrease in April was miscellaneous goods and services, with a drop of 0.1 percent.

According to TurkStat, prices in 291 categories out of the 432 included in April’s CPI figures had increased, while prices in 80 categories had decreased.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN

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