As part of its mandate to keep the conditions of competition in Mauritius under constant review, the Competition Commission has initiated the monitoring of prices of essential commodities. The objective of this exercise is to analyse the extent and causes of price increases for selected products which are important for consumers.

This first Price Monitoring Report (PMR) provides for an analysis of the price evolution for edible oils, milk powder, processed cheese and chicken. These four commodities have been selected given their importance to consumers and significance in terms of household expenditure.

The PMR highlights the main factors which have led to higher prices. Increased food prices are attributed to distortions in global supply chains due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Russo-Ukrainian geopolitical conflict and adverse climatic conditions. While the conditions of supply have started to stabilise and prices have taken a downward trend internationally, the full effect of this change has not been felt on prices locally. This can be attributed to reasons such as higher cost of importation and increased local costs, including wages. At the same time, the conditions of competitions for the supply of edible oils need to be kept under constant review to monitor the evolution of local prices are evolving relative to international benchmark and the reasons thereof. Similarly, the competition dynamics for the supply of both fresh and frozen chicken need to be further analysed to understand the recent significant increase in prices.

The Executive Director of the Competition Commission, Mr Deshmuk Kowlessur, states that “the Competition Commission will continue monitoring food prices and extend the scope to include other essential goods such as construction materials. In this regard, the institution intends to come up with a series of the PMRs covering essential products. Through the price monitoring exercise, the Competition Commission intends to shed light on the underlying reasons for increase in prices of essential commodities so that relevant stakeholders can take informed decision. The analysis can also be useful in identifying unjustified price increases in which case necessary actions can be taken by the concerned authorities, including enforcement of the relevant provisions of the Competition Act where warranted.”

First Price Monitoring Report