Food Prices in Pakistan Are World's Second Lowest Despite Inflation

The cost of living in Pakistan is the world's lowest despite recent inflationary trends, according to the Cost of Living Index for mid-2021 as published by Numbeo.  Numbeo Grocery Index reports that the food prices in Pakistan are the second cheapest in the world. In terms of local purchasing power, Pakistan ranks 101 among 139 nations. 

Cost of Living Map. Source: Numbeo

For overall cost of living as measured by Numbeo, Pakistan ranks 139 among 139 countries of the world. It is cheaper to live in Pakistan than to live in any of its neighboring countries in South Asia or West Asia. India ranks 138, Afghanistan 136, Bangladesh 115 and Iran 87. 

Local Purchasing Power (LPP) is a measure of relative purchasing power in buying goods and services in a given city for the average net salary in that city. If domestic purchasing power is 40, this means that the inhabitants of that city with an average salary can afford to buy on an average 60% fewer goods and services than New York City residents with an average salary.  Pakistan (LPP of 24.56) ranks 101 among 139 countries for Local Purchasing Power. India (42.16) ranks 52, Bangladesh (21.76) 111, Afghanistan (20.53) 112 and Iran (16.82) 124. Switzerland (102.77), the United States (94.32) and Australia (91.07) top the list in terms of local purchasing power. 

Cost of Living Rankings. Source: Numbeo

For food prices, Pakistan ranks 138 among 139 countries ranked. Only Afghanistan ranks below Pakistan at 139 on Numbeo Groceries Index. India ranks 129 and Bangladesh 112. 

Monthly Cost of Food Per Person in Pakistan. Source: Numbeo

Using a basket of Asian food types, the cost of feeding one person in Pakistan with a healthy, balanced diet of 2400 daily calories works out to Rs. 10,364.55 for a month, much lower than Rs. 13,635.77 (INR 6201.40) in India. It consists of bread, rice, meat, eggs, fruits and vegetables.  The most expensive components of the food baskets are chicken and beef. Reducing the amount of meat can help bring the cost of the meal further down.  At Rs. 15,248.41 per month, the cost of western food basket is about 50% higher but still significantly lower than Rs. 19,233.35 (INR 8747.13) in India.   

Pakistan is among world's top 10 food producing countries. After a wheat and sugarcane shortfall last year, there are reports of record production of wheat and corn in Pakistan this year. Higher domestic production will hopefully help contain food price inflation in coming months. 

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Views: 77

Comment by Riaz Haq on October 6, 2021 at 11:50am

Other than the #OPEC nations, #Pakistan’s fuel prices (petrol Rs. 127 ($0.75) per liter) are among the lowest in the world! #gasoline #petrol
https://twitter.com/haqsmusings/status/1445613011037609993?s=20

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/9/30/infographic-how-the-price-...

High fuel prices are part of a global energy crunch that has led to big disruptions across China, the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe. Petrol and diesel prices have also spiked in several countries including India and South Africa.

As of September 2021, Hong Kong has the most expensive petrol in the world at $2.56 per litre ($11.63 per gallon) followed by the Netherlands – $2.18 ($9.91 per gallon) and the Central African Republic – $2.14 ($9.72 per gallon). High taxes largely contribute to the high cost at the pump.

The countries with the cheapest petrol include mostly oil-rich countries including Venezuela at $0.02 ($0.09 per gallon), Iran – $0.06 ($0.27 per gallon) and Syria – $0.23 ($1.04 per gallon) according to globalpetrolprices.com.

Comment by Riaz Haq on October 18, 2021 at 4:54pm

Just two sub-categories of food, cereals and vegetables, account for 40% of the CPI food-basket. These two items also account for almost half of India’s agricultural production. Recent inflationary trends display an unprecedented trend of disinflation in cereal prices, which has been happening every month since February. To be sure, disinflation in vegetable prices has been underway since December 2020, but vegetable prices have fallen even earlier. Inflation in edible oil category continues to be very high. If one were to exclude cereal and vegetable prices from the food category, India is at a unique phase as far as the current CPI series is concerned, as prices of other food items have remained sticky at high levels.

--------------------

Excluding the big items of #cereals & #vegetables, the food inflation in #India is about 10%.https://www.hindustantimes.com/business/a-closer-examination-of-ind...

https://twitter.com/haqsmusings/status/1450247533486231553?s=20

Comment by Riaz Haq on October 19, 2021 at 9:47am

#Food Security Index: #India at 71st spot out of 113 nations. #Pakistan (with 52.6 points) scored better than India (50.2 points) in the category of food affordability. #FoodSecurity #SouthAsia https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/food-security-index-india-...

New Delhi, October 19

India is ranked at 71st position in the Global Food Security (GFS) Index 2021 of 113 countries, but the country lags behind its neighbours Pakistan and Sri Lanka in terms food affordability, according to a report.

Pakistan (with 52.6 points) scored better than India (50.2 points) in the category of food affordability. Sri Lanka was even better with 62.9 points in this category on the GFS Index 2021, a global report released by Economist Impact and Corteva Agriscience on Tuesday said.

Ireland, Australia, the UK, Finland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada, Japan, France and the US shared the top rank with the overall GFS score in the range of 77.8 and 80 points on the index.

The GFS Index was designed and constructed by London-based Economist Impact and is sponsored by Corteva Agriscience.

The GFS Index measures the underlying drivers of food security in 113 countries, based on the factors of affordability, availability, quality and safety, and natural resources and resilience. It considers 58 unique food security indicators including income and economic inequality – calling attention to systemic gaps and actions needed to accelerate progress toward United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger by 2030.

According to the report, India held 71st position with an overall score of 57.2 points on the GFS Index 2021 of 113 countries, fared better than Pakistan (75th position), Sri Lanka (77th Position), Nepal (79th position) and Bangladesh (84th position). But the country was way behind China (34th position).

In the food affordability category, Pakistan (with 52.6 points) scored better than India (50.2 points). Sri Lanka was also better at 62.9 points on the GFS Index 2021.

https://impact.economist.com/sustainability/project/food-security-i...

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 4, 2021 at 7:27am

Pakistan PM unveils country’s ‘biggest ever’ welfare programme
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan unveiled $709m package of subsidies for low-income households struggling with food price inflation.

https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2021/11/4/pakistan-pm-unveils-cou...

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan unveiled a $709m package of food subsidies to ease the financial burden on low-income households as the prices of essentials continue to soar in the South Asian country.

Addressing the nation on Wednesday evening, Khan described the benefits package as “Pakistan’s biggest ever welfare programme”.

“This package is of Rs 120 billion ($709.2m), which the federal and provincial governments are giving jointly,” he said. “In this, we are [targeting] the three most important food items, ghee, flour and pulses.”

Under the plan, some 20 million qualifying low-income households will be entitled to a 30 percent discount on the purchase of the three items. The federal and provincial governments will make up the difference to retailers in the form of subsidy payments.


The subsidies will last for six months, Khan said, and are aimed at the poorest households, as classified by the government-run Ehsaas welfare programme.

Pakistani households have been dealing with spiralling consumer price inflation (CPI) in recent months, with October’s CPI clocking in at 9.2 percent compared with a year earlier.

Food inflation for core commodities has been particularly high, with the price of ghee increasing by 43 percent, flour by 12.97 percent and certain pulses by 17.62 percent over the last year, according to data from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.

The coronavirus pandemic hit the country’s economy hard, with economic growth slowing to 0.53 percent in 2020, according to the World Bank.

Prices for food, energy and other essential goods have skyrocketed around the world this year as countries cast off COVID-19 restrictions, triggering supply shortages and bottlenecks.

World food prices rose for a third straight month in October, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization said on Thursday, hitting a new 10 year high. Last month’s increase was driven by vegetable oils and cereals.

Khan blamed Pakistan’s inflation on international commodity prices, including petrol, claiming that his government had done a better job than others to absorb global price increases.

“What can we do about this? The inflation that is coming from outside. Let Allah make it so that we have all these things in our country, then we can reduce prices, but [not for things being imported],” he said.

Pakistan, which relies heavily on imports of essentials as well as other goods, has also been hit hard by a devaluation of its currency this year.

The Pakistani rupee has lost 13.1 percent of its value against the US dollar since May.

Khan’s government has expanded welfare spending during the pandemic to address unemployment and poverty, disbursing 179 billion rupees ($1.06bn) in grants to low-income families this year, according to government data.

Consumer Price Inflation, however, appears set to continue to increase, with Khan warning in his speech on Wednesday that the government would likely have to raise petroleum and diesel prices, in response to global oil price increases.

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