Importers claim increase demurrage causes price hike

Feb 3, 2021, 12:08 PM | Article By: Adama Tine 

Importers of commodities in The Gambia on Thursday informed the legislators of the National Assembly Select Committee on Trade that the demurrage charges on imports is the only main factor contributing to price hikes of basic commodities in the country.

According to them, there is high demand on essential commodities such as rice, sugar and oil in Africa while its production is very low and the increment on the demurrage on trade in containers is about US$3000 to US$4000 respectively.

They confirmed to the committee that in the midst of covid-19 pandemic, they have series of difficulties in importing especially when it comes to shipping them to The Gambia as most of the ports in the Eastern part of India and Pakistan have to operate the way they were operating before the pandemic came to effect.

They added that before the pandemic, to ship a container of rice from India to Gambia costs them around $1600 but right now it is around US$3800-US$4000 and at the same time, factories and suppliers are not working constantly.

“We had a series of meetings with the Ministry of Trade and they asked us to produce our weekly sales, our weekly prices and our weekly stock levels,” they added.

They said that the fact that they had some stocks in sugar prior to the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic has greatly helped, outlining that without the stocks, the price of sugar would have been higher than it is right now.

“Although we are trying our best to sell at the cheapest price and not to increase our prices as it is not in our favour in our line of businesses,” they affirmed.

They also said that the closure of business transactions and loss of jobs have immensely contributed to the factors affecting the rise of prices   in commodities.

The chairman of the Trade Committee, Muhammed Mahanera, said the information would guide the committee as they engage the stakeholders to ensure that the persistent price hike on commodities is reviewed and fixed at a reasonable price.

Read Other Articles In Headlines
Turkish Embassy donates two 40ft containers ahead of OIC summit
Jun 19, 2020, 11:59 AM

Petroleum House, Brusubi, 18th June 2020 -As part of our ongoing resource mobilization and key project implementations in preparations for the hosting of the OIC Heads of State Summit in The Gambia in 2022, The Gambia O.I.C.

Nianija residents in excitement ahead of Barrow’s visit
Oct 23, 2020, 11:12 AM

Hundreds of people including alkalolu, youth and women representatives among other residents of Nianija are in excitement ahead of President Adama Barrow’s visit to the district on 7 November 2010.

William Attah
Heads of schools, parents call for reopen
Oct 2, 2020, 12:16 PM

Various heads of schools and concerned parents have called on the government to review the stance on the closure of schools and reopen them without wasting more time, as many students are falling out of the educational track the longer they stay at home.

Alieu Mboge
Top Banjul Muslim elder Alieu Mboge dies
Aug 3, 2020, 2:58 PM

The death has been announced of Alhagie Alieu Mboge, a prominent Muslim elder in Banjul yesterday at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital. He was the president of Banjul Muslim Elders.