TRADE MINISTER Paula Gopee-Scoon is hopeful that, as the worldwide demand for items such as steel and key ingredients used to make feed normalises, so will their prices.
“You would have noticed that there was a lot of discussion about the price of animal feed as well as steel. All these things have gone up exponentially," she said Tuesday at the launch of the ministry’s export booster initiative at Nicholas Tower, Independence Square, Port of Spain. “But it is expected that once demand and operations and manufacturing normalises there would be some sort of levelling off to normal prices.”
She explained that, while the world was in the throes of the covid19 pandemic, demand from manufacturers was not high. But as a vaccine is developed and is being dispensed, and countries around the world begin to normalise, the demand for many products have gone up, thus leading to a hike in prices for several items.
Gopee-Scoon said her office looks at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) food indices to keep tabs on the prices of several commodities and food items. She lauded local food manufacturers for the role they played in keeping the supply of several basic food items at a good level so as not to affect the price.
“Local manufacturers have been able to contain the increases,” Gopee-Scoon said, adding that food prices increased 0.78 per cent.
Gopee-Scoon advised consumers to shop around to ensure that they get the best bang for their buck.
“For those who are looking at other commodity items and so on, keep monitoring, and I am hoping there would be some levelling-off of the prices as things come up to speed,” Gopee-Scoon said.