Cooking oil prices fall

Namibia are now able to shop for more basic commodities after the price of goods and services went down from 14,6% in March 2023, to 4,9% in March 2024.

This is according to the latest Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) Consumer Price Index.

The price of pure sunflower oil (750 ml) is now at N$31,76 in Zone 2 (Khomas), followed by N$30,90 in Zone 3 (//Kharas, Erongo, Hardap, Omaheke regions), while consumers in Zone 1 (Kavango East, Kavango West, Kunene, Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Otjozondjupa, and Zambezi regions) paid the lowest price of N$30,38.

In 2022, the price of cooking oil shot up following the outbreak of the war in Ukraine.

Consumers in 2022 paid an average retail price of N$41,85 in the Khomas region, followed by Zone 3 at N$41,37, while consumers in Zone 1 paid the lowest price at N$39,18 for 750ml of oil.

“The food and non-alcoholic beverages category, which accounts for over 16% of the Namibian Consumer Price Index (NCPI) basket, witnessed a substantial drop in its annual inflation rate, falling from 14,6% in March 2023 to a more manageable 4,9% in March 2024,” said statistician general Alex Shimuafeni.

According to Shimuafeni, this decrease can be attributed to lower prices for staples like bread, maize meal and cooking oil.

Bread prices, which had seen a sharp increase a year ago, remained stable in March 2024.

Another contributor to the slowdown was the transportation sector.

The transport category, representing 14,3% of the NCPI basket, experienced a significant slowdown in its annual inflation rate.

This category, which had previously seen inflation as high as 9,2% in March 2023, dropped to a moderate 4,3% in March 2024.

“This decline was driven by lower price increases for operating personal transport equipment, which includes costs like fuel and parking fees.

Public transportation services also saw a slight decrease in inflation,” said Shimuafeni.
However, some categories continued to see price increases.

The cost of sugar, for example, remained on an upward trend, with inflation rising to 7,7% in March 2024.

Additionally, the price of vehicles continued to go up, reaching 8,2% in March 2024, from 6% in the previous year.

Zone 2 had the highest inflation rate at 5,1%, which can be attributed to higher living costs in Windhoek.
Zone 3 experienced the lowest inflation rate at 3,5%.

“The slowdown in inflation is a positive sign for the Namibian economy. It suggests a potential stabilisation in prices, offering some relief to consumers who have been grappling with rising costs. This trend could boost consumer spending, leading to a potential increase in economic activity,” said Shimuafeni.

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