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Namibia’s Khomas Consumers Grapple with Rising Costs for Sunflower Oil

In the heart of Namibia’s Khomas region, consumers found themselves facing a unique challenge in December as the prices of pure sunflower oil surged, making it the costliest commodity among selected items. The recently released Consumer Price Index (CPI) report by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) sheds light on this economic twist, revealing intriguing insights into the spending patterns of Khomas residents.

Understanding the Numbers:

According to the CPI report, consumers in Zone 2 (Khomas region) topped the list, paying an average of N$37.63 for a 750 ml bottle of Pure Sunflower oil. The NSA’s Statistician General and CEO, Alex Shimuafeni, highlighted this trend, emphasizing the unique cost burden borne by Khomas residents compared to other regions. Zone 1 (Kavango East, Kavango West, Kunene, Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Otjozondjupa, and Zambezi regions) followed with a price of N$31.11, while Zone 3 (Kharas, Erongo, Hardap, and Omaheke) paid the lowest price at N$30.12.

Beyond Sunflower Oil: Additional Cost Challenges:

Delving further into the price dynamics, the Khomas region also faced the highest price for 500g of honey, shelling out N$107.41, with Zone 3 following at N$90.63 and Zone 1 at N$82.75. These figures point to a nuanced economic landscape, where Khomas residents navigate higher costs not only for cooking essentials but also for indulgences like honey.

Inflation and Its Culprits:

Shimuafeni attributed the annual inflation rate of 5.3% in December 2023 to a spectrum of factors, including housing, water, power, gas, other fuels, food and non-alcoholic drinks, tobacco, and alcohol. While the monthly inflation rate for December 2023 showed a slight deflation of 0.1%, an improvement from the 0.3% in the previous month, the zonal breakdown highlighted Zone 1 with the highest annual inflation rate of 5.9%, followed by Zone 2 with 5.0%, and Zone 3 with an annual inflation rate of 4.9%.

Analyst Projections: A Ray of Hope:

As the data paints a vivid picture of consumer spending in Khomas, analysts at Simonis Storm predict a continued downward trajectory in inflation rates for the upcoming year. With an anticipated average inflation rate of approximately 4.9% for the fiscal year 2024, these experts point to persistently lower petrol and food prices, coupled with a stable Rand, as key drivers in moderating headline inflation in Namibia. The global economic landscape, especially in the energy and food sectors, is expected to play a pivotal role in shaping local inflation dynamics.

In the face of heightened costs for sunflower oil and other essentials, Khomas consumers stand resilient, navigating economic challenges with optimism. As the fiscal year unfolds, the intricate dance between local and global economic forces will continue to shape the financial landscape. Whether it’s cooking staples or indulgent treats like honey, consumers in Khomas exhibit resilience in the face of economic shifts, and the journey towards affordability and economic stability remains a shared endeavor.

Original article written by Justicia Shipena