CAIRO - 11 April 2020: Yameesh Ramadan, such as nuts and dates, has not been spared from the negative effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, as prices and the economic situation of citizens have been significantly affected, and although the month of Ramadan is linked to the citizens’ high demand for the Yameesh, the Coronavirus has greatly affected commodity prices, especially the imported commodities, which caused the turnout to drop dramatically.
In the markets of Al-Hussein district in Cairo governorate, Hossam Mohamed, a wholesaler of foodstuffs, told Al-Arabiya Net that there are some commodities, such as oils and other products, whose prices have increased according to the natural annual increase every year, many commodities have maintained fixed prices with the approach of Ramadan, while some commodities increased by 10 percent.
He added that the percentage of Ramadan sales this year was much better than it was in 2020, but it has not returned to the before-Corona normal.
Mahmoud Hassan, a merchant, explained that the Yameesh has many types, including Egyptian and imported ones, demand usually reflects the citizens’ needs and capabilities, and this year we witnessed a weak turnout of 50 percent, so “we, as traders, bring in fewer quantities than in past years to avoid big losses with the decline in sales.”
Mahmoud noted despite the high prices, some buy the Ramadan necessities, such as Qamaruddin and raisins.
Omar Mahmoud, a wholesaler, said there is an increase in yameesh prices for wholesalers by more than 30 percent; thus, the price increases for the consumers, which pushes them to obtain their needs only.
He added, "Corona affected the entire market, at this time of the year we used to witness an extremely high turnout from all segments of society, but this year we have witnessed a decrease in the demand for yameesh and citizens are being satisfied with limited quantities and few types, unlike the usual.”
For its part, the Egyptian state’s "Ahlan Ramadan" exhibitions were organized by the General Federation of Chambers of Commerce; in cooperation with the ministries of trade and industry, supply, internal trade, and local development; to ensure the availability of consumer goods at competitive prices to ensure market price stability.
Engineer Ibrahim Al-Arabi, president of the General Federation of Chambers of Commerce, said that the exhibition is held annually before the beginning of the month of Ramadan, where essential commodities are provided from the manufacturer and importer directly to the consumer to reduce the cost and thus the prices, as the chambers of commerce bear the costs of establishing outlets, the media campaign, and logistical services.
He explained that coordination and cooperation are underway between the Ministry of Supply and the owners of commercial chains to reduce the prices of food commodities, in addition to presenting price reduction offers on some food commodities at the state level. Simultaneously, the number of outlets in all governorates exceeded 1,800.
Recently, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly has opened “Ahlan Ramadan 2021” fair, which provides basic commodities at affordable prices for all citizens on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan. Supply Minister Ali Moselhi, Trade and Industry Minister Nevin Gamea, Cairo Governor Khaled Abdel-Aal, and Chairman of the Consumer Protection Authority Ayman Hossam El-Din attended the opening.
During his tour of the fair, Madbouly stressed the importance of supplying local products of high quality to encourage the citizens to buy them. Meanwhile, Moselhi said the Supply Ministry is keen on holding the fair for the sixth year in a row in cooperation with the Trade and Industry Ministry and the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, noting that 26 fairs will be opened in different governorates.
“About 168 companies participate in the fair this year, offering their products with discounts ranging between18 and 28 percent,” the minister pointed out. He also added that the main fair in Cairo is held on a total area of 12,000 square meters in line with the anti-coronavirus measures.