Sudan: Fuel Shortage in South Kordofan, Commodity Prices Rise in Sudan

Khartoum/Kassala/Darfur/South Kordofan — A shortage of fuel and high prices for petrol and diesel halted transportation between cities and villages in South Kordofan. Witnesses from Delling reported to Radio Dabanga that long queues of vehicles have lined up in front of petrol stations for more than a week.

In New Halfa locality, Kassala state, farmer Ahmed Mohamed told Dabanga Radio that the farmers can't harvest their beans, lentils, and cotton, because all vehicles line up in front of petrol stations since Saturday.

He said that the price of a gallon of diesel at the black market rose to SDG 50 ($ 1), while the price at the fuel station is SDG 28 ($ 0.6). The price for groundnuts almost doubled because of a shortage of diesel, he claimed.

Food prices

Prices of food increased all over Sudan recently. In April 2019 a 50 kg sack of sugar cost SDG 1,850 (then $ 39) in Khartoum, now it costs SDG 2,600 ($ 52.3). In West Darfur the price has risen to SDG 3,000 ($ 60.3).

Fuel prices not only soared in Kassala. A severe fuel and bread crisis hit El Gezira, South Kordofan and North Kordofan as well. The price of a loaf of bread in El Gezira ranges from three to four Pounds. For comparison: in September 2019 people in Kassala complained that bread was sold "at the commercial price of two Pounds per piece".

Bread crisis

In Abbasiya in South Kordofan people blame the bread crisis on the "leakage" of subsidised flour, which is then sold at the black market. They claim that elements of the ousted Al Bashir regime still control the distribution of flour.

Undersecretary of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Mohamed Ali Abdallah announced he will soon establish a special department with a hotline to control commodity prices. He also prepares a law on trade regulation and market supervision in order to control market chaos.

The official Central Bank of Sudan exchange rate for Sudanese Pounds to US Dollars at this moment is SDG 49,7 to $ 1. Three weeks ago, Radio Dabanga reported that the US Dollar reached SDG 95 at the Khartoum black market.

* As effective foreign exchange rates can vary in Sudan, Radio Dabanga bases all SDG currency conversions on the daily US dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS).

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