Home | News    Wednesday 27 July 2011

Upper Nile: Soaring prices scare locals in Malakal


July 25, 2011 (MALAKAL) – Local people in Malakal, Upper Nile state, are scared of rising cost of living as items from North Sudan are becoming more scarce after South Sudan seceded on July 9.

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A muddy road in Malakal, one the factors hindering economic growth in South Sudan. (ST)

The soaring prices of commodities in the Republic South Sudan surged in the build-up to independence following closure of North-South trading roots by Khartoum and unstable security after the Abyei conflict in May.

For Upper Nile citizens in Malakal, who enjoy cheaper prices of fuel and food items, shipped up the Nile on barges from North Sudan, compared to their fellow citizens in neighbouring Unity and Jonglei states, the increment is nevertheless significant.

“We use to enjoys cheap meals in hotels,” said a Malakal resident identifying himself as Peter. “But now, a plate of beans cost 3 Sudanese Pounds compared to two Sudanese pounds before,” he added.

Despite the increases Malakal is still cheaper than other towns in the region. A 100 kilogram bag of dura in Malakal is sold at 180 SDG compared to 300 SDG in Bor, Jonglei state. Fuel is relatively cheaper thought traders dealing in it cannot agree on uniform prices. Sold now between 880 SDG and 1000 SDG according to traders who spoke to the Sudan Tribune in Malakal, the price of fuel is cheaper compared to neighbouring states markets.

Before South Sudan’s secession, Upper Nile traders used to depend almost entirely on goods brought from North Sudan. But with the allegedly restriction Khartoum authorities have placed on trade, other markets items are now being transported from Juba. Items like dura, fuel and drinks such as soda are still being received from North through Kosti port.

Since Malakal is not connected to Juba by road and businessmen use air and water transport to reach Upper Nile.

“It is costly but there is no alternative,” said Deng, a trader dealing in sugar, beer and other items, who uses barge to transport his goods.

Upper Nile state authorities turn down several requests for comment.

As in most of South Sudan a bad road network severely hinders the economy and movement of people and goods.


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  • 27 July 2011 06:37, by Naath

    This is a time for cold war now between North and South. We need well qualifying people like Gatluak Deng Garang to cope with Jalaba in those border state like Malakal. Gatluak can manage this war of items easily, or otherwise it will soaring heavy, but civilian are the victim.

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    • 27 July 2011 07:00, by Mi diit

      this is another sign of the incoming inflation in south sudan.

      when the comodities are very scarce, and the demand is very high for those comodities while there is alot of money in the pockets of people, then inflation hits the nation so quickly.

      people will now compete for those scarce comodities and the rich who have stolen millions will force prices to rise because they will want to buy the comodities with high prices denying the other poor competitors the advantage to maintain the prices at lower cost. then traders will continue to raise the prices by trying to justify the other costs they incur in shipping the comodies. that is dangerous.

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      • 27 July 2011 10:08, by The Republic of South Sudan


        Inflation in the Republic of South Sudan is imminent my dear. Right people who suppose to put financial regulation in place are sideline, not even needed in the government.

        In addition, South Sudan has had no food policy or emergency preparedness policy to respond to any event that could hit the country at nationally. I am imagining the hunger which will affect the whole region (Greater Horn of Africa) simply because South Sudan is not self reliant. Uganda and Kenya will try to supply whatever they can but it will expensive for the local to afford.

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    • 27 July 2011 07:57, by Covert

      Compare the prices between the north and South, not just the south itself! I believed that will make your wishes for South Sudan inflation a reality.

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      • 27 July 2011 09:06, by Mi diit


        inflation in south sudan is not a wish but a reality unless you want to wait for surprises. i don’t care whether or not there is inflation in north sudan because i should not comment on their behalf. i am talking about south sudan.

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  • 27 July 2011 07:28, by George Bol

    Mi diit,

    In economics, inflation is not always bad. I know this very well that for those who have no ideas about economics,they think that inflation and deflation are bad things. You need not to mix supply and demand laws with inflation. Please, go and study economics further so you can derive the informed decision base on economic theories and their effects.

    I understand your confusion. You think that we the price rise,you simply judge it as an inflation. And if you think that way then I believed you should be exploring more my friend. Ok! do you think rise in price is always a bad sign? if you say yes,then you missed some points here. The rise in price can also come up when the innovation increase and when the new technologies escalate to the general public.

    Basically, what happened in Upper Nile now is not an inflation, it’s the matter of supply and demand laws,which says that when the supply is less then the demand is high. You feel me!

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    • 27 July 2011 07:59, by Land-of-Cush

      George Bol

      You want to have your own comments instead you always spelled yourself after other’s comments. Again you seem to always depending government’s weakness when there is any piece of blaming from citizens. Therefore, you want to feed government instead to deny other’s concern. Keep in mind.

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      • 27 July 2011 08:02, by George Bol

        Land of cush,

        You should re read the last paragraph please. Thanks

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        • 27 July 2011 09:16, by Mi diit

          george bol,

          i understand economics very well only that you don’t know who you are throwing your comments to. you think i am semi illiterate like you.

          you got half of my points right though and missed only one connecting point to inflation.

          yes, high demand and low supply cause prices to rise high naturally. but when it is coupled with lots of money in the hands of citizens, then it causes inflation. do you get me now?

          for example, let us say the demand for mattresses is very high while the supply is very low. people will not stop buying mattresses but will instead compete over those mattresses. the ones with lots of money may not care whether the price of a mattress is increased from, let us say, 300 pounds to 500 pounds. they will buy them with 500 pounds and then will make it difficult for the poor one to bring the price down to the original 300 pounds. and automatically the exchange rate of pound against the dollar will get higher and higher.

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  • 27 July 2011 09:44, by Brobo

    you are right mr midiit

    people are equal in their decision, you decide your own decision which is good to other,if the item are high those who no money who is going to buy for them that is very bad for the governor of upper Nile state people are just achieving from north to south were can they get money.

    an inflation is not equal because they are still not settle some are look for food/money for food for their children so if they item is high it mean that they are getting nothing.

    secondly they are trying build up were their children can sleep because not rain is raining to much in malakal those who decided that they are totally wrong let the item should be reduce/decrease the amount

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  • 27 July 2011 10:14, by George Bol

    Folks, you should seriously take macro and micro Econ so that you can differentiate the law of demand and supply from inflation.the soaring prices(increase in prices) is the one we are talking here ,there is no connection with inflation. you should know the factors that cause the increases in prices: Low supply of goods and scarcity of resources are major factors behind this. I think you are wasting your time rambling around the laws of supply and demand,but not aware that inflation is not always a bad thing,but the rises in prices due to of resources is the only one that affect our people.

    You are again confusing the market competetion/product competetion with the inflation and demand and supply laws.e.g when we have more goods in the market that is when people buy more goods with less prices,while when we have less products in the market,then people tend to spend more money on the products because there are scarecity of goods while the demand is so high.

    What kind of econ you know really?. check these factors: deflation,inflation, recession,depression, unemployment rate,while you will not understand the essence of this article. This news is all about supply and demand of goods in the upper Nile states. Thanks

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    • 27 July 2011 11:16, by Mi diit

      george bol,

      we are almost saying the same thing only that you have not yet realized it.

      now you repeatedly talk of the law of high demand and low supply, but you have failed to connect them with inflation.

      how do you define inflation?

      you are saying inflation is not bad. how?

      inflation affects the poor people more than the rich. the rich can resist it by affording the high prices but the poor will get poorer. is that what you called good about the inflation?

      i have read and studied all those economic books you just talked about. and inflation is always bad unless you want to call it natural increase in prices which is not bad. but high rate of inflation is always bad.

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  • 27 July 2011 11:24, by Brobo


    I don’t under your economic you are talking about,how can you high inflation Item while you know in south Sudan there is No more production/commodities if things are less you h’ve to evaluate things which should be good for community,produce is always bases according to company.

    okay good I don’t know the economic/do you thing that dame Idea yous should be good, the employee are invested according the to company, they are not employed because things which are selling market be sure that many people in south they have not Jobs/working Not all should be equal,

    you say I known what the economic is are you de one who set the economic/you mean people can implement what you are saying,let we be attention for self guys.

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