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Increase in Food Prices Has Eased in the First Half of 2012
Food prices show signs of easing in the first half of 2012, the Retail Price Watch Group (RPWG) observes. Singapore’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) for food has come down to 2.3 per cent in June from 3.8 per cent in January this year, compared to a year ago. The slower pace of food inflation has an impact on household expenditure as food expenses take up a considerable portion of each household’s monthly budget.
The RPWG has also observed that the prices for some common food items have declined or remained fairly stable. Taking a snapshot of the average retail prices of selected food items in Singapore, the RPWG observed that prices of a number of food items have declined (9 food items), remained the same (4 food items) or increased by a moderate amount (4 items by less than 1 percent) in the second quarter of 2012 compared to the first quarter (Table 1).
68 0.68 6.75 0.03 -0.00 -2.48 -4.000 types of “off-the-shelf” food items from major retailers.79 5. The RPWG notes that the prices of various housebrand items from these supermarkets are also lower than the national average retail prices of retail items in the same category.72 12.71 6. DOS collects price data for more than 1.52 0.49 -1.gov.00 0.94 -1.45 0.30 0.20 17.95 3.60 Source: Average retail prices of selected items are available in the Monthly Digest of Statistics (MDS) published by Department of Statistics (DOS). and their prices are often lower.07 1.66 2.24 1.34 2012 Q2 1.28 1. Singapore (http://www. For some.93 1.46 2.html).84 1. Housebrand items are comparable to more prominent brands in quality.34 0. A check with the RPWG’s three supermarket members (NTUC FairPrice.34 1.08 1.Table 1: Average Retail Prices of Selected Items ($) S/N 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Food Item Hen eggs (10 eggs) Watermelon (per kg) Potatoes (per kg) Orange (each) Chilled Chicken Wing (each) Spinach (Bayam) (per kg) Duck (per kg) Thai Rice (100% Fragrant) (5kg) Cooking Oil (2kg bottle) Ordinary White Bread (400g) High Fibre Bread (400g) Chilled Mutton (per kg) Hen (per kg) Instant Coffee (200g bottle) Instant Noodles (5 pkts) Carrots (per kg) Sugar (2kg) 2012 Q1 1.36 % change -4.03 2.89 10. supermarkets and provision shops.46 2.sg/pubn/reference. including wet markets.39 -0.singstat.16 0. (Table 2) 2 .94 3. Giant and Sheng Siong) reveals that their housebrand items provide a more economical alternative for consumers in Singapore.25 1.20 17.33 0.00 0.11 -1. another way to achieve more value for money is to consider purchasing housebrand items. The RPWG advises consumers to take advantage of lower prices or promotions whenever possible.79 5.66 -4.68 6.73 6.00 2.67 2.89 10.00 0.79 12.00 0.
MINISTRY OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY 7 August 2012 For more information on Domestic Food Inflation.86 $2.64 $1. Singapore 3 Price of housebrand item was provided by only one supermarket chain.95 $5.20 National Average Retail Price2 $5. The RPWG.80 to $1.18 to $12.39 to $1. Note: Consumers are advised to consider the prices with regards to the product quantity and grade. please refer Annex.62 $1. was set up in late February 2011 to keep a close watch on any excessive price increases of daily necessities and anti-competitive behaviour from businesses in Singapore.5 litre tub $9.05 $1. 4 Prices were similar across two different supermarkets’ housebrands. as these may differ between housebrand items.25 to $1. and economical quality alternatives remain easily available. Senior Minister of State for Ministry of Trade and Industry and National Development.64 for 400g 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 1 2 Cheese3 (packet of 12 slices) Condense Milk (397g tin) Cooking Oil (2 kg bottle) Hen Eggs (per 10) High Fibre Bread (400+100g) Ice Cream4 (2 litre tub) Instant Coffee3 (200g) Instant Noodles (5 packets) Ordinary White Bread (600g) Sugar (2 kg packet) Thai Fragrant Rice (5 kg packet) Vitamin Enriched Bread3 (600 g) Source: NTUC Fairprice.36 $12.25 $1. Lee Yi Shyan.49 $1.45 $4. Sheng Siong Source: Monthly Digest of Statistics (MDS).00 to $5.95 $11.64 $1.30 $1.65 $6. The RPWG will also continue working with retailers to assure consumers that there are many choices in the market.04 $1.80 $1. Department of Statistics (DOS).83 $2.46 for 400g $3.15 to $1.20 $2.20 for 400g $6.55 to $2.21 for 1.60 to $1. 3 .Table 2: Examples of Cheaper Housebrand Items from Major Retailers in June 2012 S/N Item Supermarket Housebrands’ Average Retail Price1 $3. Diary Farm Singapore.45 $5. led by Mr.03 $1.
As Singapore imports over 90% of our food. Cash grants are offered directly to help households deal with inflation. (b) the long-term contractual agreements that food importers have with their suppliers.8% in 2011 on average. Chart 2: Change in Global and Import Prices of Selected Food Categories. These include the “GST Vouchers 2012”. Singapore’s import prices and domestic prices for a wide variety of food items rose by a smaller extent.1% in 2010 and another 22. including: (a) the general appreciating trend of the Singapore dollar. However. 1 4 .Annex Domestic Food Inflation in 2011 The increase in domestic food prices last year mirrored the sharp rise in global food commodity prices. they are targeted help to cushion the higher cost of living that these households experienced. compared to global prices1. “Grow and Share” package and U-Save rebates. According to UN FAO Food Price Index. Consumers in Singapore have a wide range of good quality brands to choose from. global food commodity prices have increased by 18. Consumers can also take advantage of these discounts and achieve greater cost-savings on their household expenditure. (Chart 2) This could be attributed to several factors. we are largely subject to global supply disruptions caused by weather-related crop failures. including more economical alternatives. Retailers regularly offer discounts on special items. 2011 Combating Rising Cost of Living in 2012 The Government is helping to cushion the impact of rising cost of living for lower and middle income groups. Although these grants do not reduce inflation. and (c) the diversification of food import sources.
or a commitment to keep prices stable for a period of time. The RPWG advocates free market competition as the most effective way to achieve the lowest price of any goods. It welcomes efforts by businesses to help consumers combat inflation but does not impose on business to perform specific price reduction programmes.Important Note on the Retail Price Watch Group The RPWG encourages businesses to help allay the public’s concerns on excessive price increases in daily necessities. do this through promotions that benefit consumers facing price increases. Businesses may. for instance. 5 .