The Sunday Mail
Sunday Mail Reporter
PRICES of basic commodities have remained stable over the past six weeks, as the foreign currency auction system, which began on June 23, has managed to tame the volatility of the Zimbabwe dollar.
By last week, the official exchange rate was $80 to US$1, easing from $57 to US$1 when the auction began, as the price discovery process to establish the true market value of the local unit continues.
Market watchers believe that most businesses had pegged prices at speculative rates around $100 to US$1 and, therefore, the fluctuations in the official exchange rate were not likely to affect prices in the medium term.
A snap survey by The Sunday Mail showed that a 2-litre bottle of locally produced cooking oil has maintained an average price of $240 over the past six weeks, while imported cooking oil is pegged at $272.
Washing powder remained unchanged at $182 for over a month, with laundry bar soap still being sold at $100.
A 2kg packet of white sugar is still retailing at $224, while a 2kg pack of rice was pegged at $255.
A kilogramme of economy beef retained its price at $225, while a kilogramme of chicken is selling for $250.
A standard loaf of bread has been ranging between $54 and $68 for several weeks now.
Last week, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce released a report indicating that prices on most products, including chicken, economy beef, bath soap, eggs, flour and vegetables, had stabilised.
According to the report, the market has witnessed a decline in prices of bread, which had spiked to $70 at the beginning of July.