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Curfew raises food consumption

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Increase in purchasing activity is attributed to concerns over political unrest and uncertainty in the streets.

Increase in purchasing activity is attributed to concerns over political unrest and uncertainty in the streets (Ricardo Garcia Vilanova/AFP)

Increase in purchasing activity is attributed to concerns over political unrest and uncertainty in the streets
(Ricardo Garcia Vilanova/AFP)

The Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce (FECC) agreed with the supply authority of the military, along with the government to allow the transportation of products during the curfew, Head of FECC Ahmed El-Wakil said.

“The decision is expected to come into effect tomorrow,” said El-Wakil.

Following the curfew imposed in many governorates, people rushed to purchase essentials, which resulted in crowded supermarkets, especially during the first half of the day.

Officials of the food industry division, FID, of the chamber of commerce, confirmed a large consumer turnout to purchase basic necessities before the start of the curfew.

They attributed the increase in purchasing activity to concerns over political unrest and uncertainty in the streets, which irrevocably forced them to save their own needs of food and basic goods as much as possible.

In the wake of violence and unrest, President Adly Mansour declared on Wednesday a state of emergency and imposed a curfew starting at 7pm.

“Until now we did not monitor a shortage in any kind of products throughout Cairo,” said the head of the FID of the chamber of commerce, Ahmed Yehia.

Yehia asserted that consumer’s purchasing force accelerates during the hours just before the curfew, and decreases during the morning hours.

Yehia said recently food companies are transporting food stuffs to markets during specific periods but sometimes they face transportations issues due to blocked roads.

“During the curfew people stay many hours in their homes, which increase their food consumption,” said member of FID, Ashraf Hosny.

Hosny emphasised that there is no shortage in products, but if instability lasts for a significant period of time, it will strongly affect the amount of production and importation, and, as a consequence, a food shortage may occur.

Hosny said the recent circumstances increased the consumer’s consumption and demand, which encouraged greater patronage at small supermarkets, in contrast to people’s preference to shop at larger supermarkets.

Traders are making “good deals” for themselves, and taking advantage of the crisis, by raising their prices.  But, according to state-owned Al-Ahram, while the prices of vegetables and fruits are high in the regions near to clashes and protests, they are lower in more stable regions and in poorer communities.

However, FID officials believe there is no increase in prices especially since there was already a recession in the market. Hosny said:  “traders already have enough to sell with adequate prices.”

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Hend El-Behary

Hend El-Behary

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