Despite the significant drop in the dollar exchange rate, the fall does not reflect on the prices of various goods.
The high prices in local markets are the major concern of citizens today. With current prices so high, many Syrians are forced to give up most essential goods, buying only what is necessary.
Sahab al-Hilou, an employee and a mother of two children, says: “The insanely high prices have forced us to change our eating habits; we replaced meat with chicken cubes, oil with margarine. We used to buy a whole package of eggs; today we buy few eggs each time. The same applies to vegetables. If the situation remains the same, will we reach the day when we cannot feed our children?”
Bashar, a shop owner who sells vegetables in as-Salamiyah city, has just as much difficulty. "Our losses are double. When prices go up, the citizen buys smaller quantities, which causes the remaining quantities of our goods to rot, and as you know fruits and vegetables rot quickly. On the other hand, we cannot lower the prices because we originally bought them at high prices from the coast, which means additional transportation costs. We really wish for lower prices so we can go back to selling goods like we were in the past", Bashar said.
A source in Hama’s Consumer Protection told al-Watan: "It is the game of the traders; when the dollar exchange rate rises, shop owners raise the prices of their goods, even if they have been in storage. When the dollar exchange rate drops, their prices remain the same”.
“We work within our capabilities. In fact, our tasks are confined to auditing the invoices, monitoring the announcement of prices, and fining individuals for violations”, the source explained.
“With regard to the current prices, the causes are well-known: transportation difficulties, high wages, and the exchange rate of the Syrian pound against the dollar. We can add to these factors the imbalance of supply and demand, as the purchasing ability of citizens has fallen significantly. Finally, we cannot deny that there are some traders who exploit the situation, but we cannot employ an observer for each dealer or shop owner”, the source concluded.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer