Mukene, fuel top April inflation drivers

PEDSON MUMBERE 30th Apr, 2024 Extractives
Mukene, fuel top April inflation drivers

Mukene traders drying their products at a fishing village on Lake Victoria.

The rising prices of fish and fuel were the main drivers of annual inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index in April, according to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS).

Speaking at a press briefing on April 30, officials stated that the price of dried Kapenta (Mukene) increased by almost 30% in April compared to 7% in the month before, while the price of fresh Tilapia increased by 15.6% in April compared to 5.8% in March.

According to UBOS, a kilogramme of mukene was selling at an average price of UGX18,831, up from UGX15,271 a year ago.

  • Mukene, which has over the years been dominant in Uganda's fish catches, is not only an important ingredient for animal feeds but also represents an affordable and nutrient-rich alternative to traditional protein sources for human beings.

The current acute scarcity of mukene in the country is being attributed to the recent government ban on certain fishing methods and restrictions on fishing silverfish (Mukene) and increased enforcement activities by the Fisheries Protection Unit (FPU) on Lake Victoria.

Additionally, the annual energy fuel and utilities inflation rose up thanks to the increase in the prices of electricity, petrol, and charcoal.

  • A litre of petrol is selling at an average price of UGX5,457, up from UGX5,086 a year ago, thanks to the depreciating shilling and the high price of crude oil on the international market.

A barrel of crude oil which was selling at $84.7 in April 2023 has been hovering over the $90 mark for most of April 2024.

Overall, the report shows that the annual inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the 12 months to April 2024 increased at a slower rate of 3.2% compared to 3.3% registered in the year ended March 2024.

CPI is a measure that tracks changes in the prices of a basket of goods and services typically purchased by households over time. It is one of the most commonly used indicators of inflation in an economy.

The CPI provides valuable insights into consumer spending patterns and inflationary pressures within different sectors of the economy. It helps policymakers such as the Central Bank to make informed decisions about monetary policy.

  • Alizik Lubega, the UBOS director of Economic Statistics, attributed the situation to annual core inflation that registered 3.5% in April 2024 compared to 3.4% registered in March 2024. "Other Notable price increases have been experienced in the area of domestic flight charges, hotel and accommodation, local brew, refined oil and cement among other things," Lubega said.
  • Amid the rising prices, the officials advised Ugandans to cut costs and only spend where necessary.

By geographical areas and income groups, Kampala High Income Centre registered the highest inflation of 4.5% for 12 months to April, which was driven by annual food and non-Alcoholic beverages prices.

The second annual inflation was registered in Fort portal at 3.4% compared to 5.0%, driven by annual clothing and footwear inflation that increased to 7.1%.

The least annual inflation was registered in Mbale center at 1.4%, driven by Annual insurance and financial services inflation that registered 2% increase.

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