Moroccans see vegetable prices soar ahead of Ramadan

Shoppers at the market in Sale, near the Moroccan capital Rabat, are witnessing exploding vegetable prices. Inflation is adding extra pressure just as Morocco prepares for Ramadan, the fasting month, which starts in late March. Night-time feasting means consumption tends to increase during this festival.

Inflation hit 8.3 percent on an annualized basis in late 2022, mainly due to global supply chain disruptions exacerbated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine and its impact on fuel and transportation costs, according to the World Bank. In January, the country's consumer price index hit 8.9 percent, fuelled by a 16.8 percent spike in food prices.

One stallholder said prices were fluctuating by the day: "Tomatoes are going at eight dirhams a kilo (€0.72) today, down from 12 dirhams (€1.08) two days ago." But overall, prices are surging upwards, accompanied by criticism from the opposition, trade unions, and even some media outlets. Several large cities have seen protests, albeit limited and often cut short by the authorities.

The government has blamed the price rises on fraud, speculators, and "price manipulation."


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