The UAE's Ministry of Economy (MoE) has announced a new policy for suppliers to hike the prices of basic food items. The new policy will establish a pricing mechanism for basic consumer goods in the country. Under the policy, suppliers will be required to submit evidence to justify price increases for some of the most sought-after items such as milk, chicken, sugar, salt, rice, and others. The Ministry assessed how these items are affected by major international developments as well as price fluctuations in their countries of origin. It also monitored steep fluctuations in prices and ensured the availability of these commodities in abundant quantities to meet the needs of consumers and maintain the strategic stock of essential commodities.
To keep the costs of these commodities in control, over 40 stores and cooperative organizations in the UAE are monitored. Essential commodity selling prices must match those in the registered database along with consumer prices in neighboring countries. The Ministry is also working on developing a shared digital database for commodities priced in the GCC to enable flexible, quick, and continuous price comparisons.
In addition, the MoE stated that it has established a new policy governing the pricing mechanism for basic consumer goods based on these extensive monitoring efforts and close monitoring of market activity. These commodities are classified into two groups under this mechanism: the first is subject to prior approval if the supplier desires to raise its price due to high import expenses. More than 11,000 commodities are included in this category, including fresh and dried milk, fresh poultry and eggs, bread, wheat, sugar, salt, rice, beans, cooking oil, mineral water, and other items.
The second category of goods, according to the MoE is exempt from the need for prior approval and is subject to supply and demand variations. These goods were chosen because of their abundance, high price competitiveness, and a large number of suppliers, ensuring the existence of multiple alternatives in various markets across the country. This ensures the natural price stability of their products through market forces. Biscuits, chocolates, confectionaries of all sorts, some dairy products, frozen food items, juices and ice cream, tea, coffee, cocoa, and its products, wheat, oats, potato chips, and cleaning equipment and tools of all kinds are all included in this category.
The Ministry lauded the fruitful cooperation between various government entities and local and federal departments, highlighting the importance of partnership with suppliers and sales outlets in establishing best consumer practices as per the UAE’s consumer protection law.