Price of food in Cuba up 20%

Another “reform” by the dictatorship of Raul Castro in Cuba we can all applaud:

Cuba food prices up 20% in 2011

Food prices in Cuba shot up by nearly 20 percent last year as the cash-strapped government cut subsidies and imports and agricultural reforms failed to crank up domestic production, according to a new government report.

The report by the National Statistics Office reflects Cubans’ long-running complaints that while some food items have been appearing with more frequency in stores, the prices have been so high that few can afford them.

Cuban leader Raúl Castro, trying to reform the stagnant Soviet-style economy, has put heavy emphasis on the need to increase agricultural production by leasing fallow state lands to private farmers and allowing them more freedom to grow and sell their products.

But the report, titled Sales on the Farm Market, showed that produce prices soared by 24.1 percent during 2011 and meat prices rose by 8.7 percent for an average increase of 19.8, Reuters news agency reported.

11 thoughts on “Price of food in Cuba up 20%”

  1. Seriously, prices are increasing as much here. For some reason, people just seem to ignore it … I guess maybe they buy less or switch to cheaper substitutes without thinking about it, I don’t know.

    Just this week the Dept of Agriculture announced that beef prices went up 10%-11% last year. That’s LESS than the 8.7% increase on the price of meat in Cuba.

    http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2012/01/30/soaring-beef-prices-force-shoppers-to-find-other-foods/

  2. I’d guess any percentage rise in Cuba would hurt someone making only $18 a month. But out of curiousity, what is the price of beef and produce?

  3. “One minor difference, Fuzzy: The average salary in the US is NOT $18 a month.”

    It’s a difference, but we’re talking percent increases so that difference doesn’t really enter into it.

    There are other differences for sure that make the situation worse in Cuba. But as far as inflation goes inflation is inflation. Inflation is incredibly bad in America but for some reason people don’t notice or complain (much) about it. That’s weird is all I am saying. I think it has a lot to do with manufacturers hiding the price of cost increases by altering package sizes and things like that. Stuff that flies below the radar unless you are really looking for it.

  4. Fuzzy,
    You are incorrect. Inflation is not just inflation. If you earn $30k and Milk doubles in price you rob Peter to pay Paul. If you earn $18 a month and milk doubles(same price in Cuba) you are out of luck.
    JSB,
    Food prices in Cuba are higher than here in the US. Gasoline prices are double, Milk cannot be found (only powdered and at a higher price than fresh in the US.
    Meat? It is far more expensive if you can afford as well as stomach it as it is sold in an open air market sitting in the sun all day.

  5. Potato, as I said there are other differences for sure that make the situation worse in Cuba. One of those is certainly the low annual income.

    But the headline of this thread and the excerpted part of the article seemed to suggest that Castro’s reforms were solely responsible for food inflation. That’s probably not the case given that food inflation is rampant all over, even here.

  6. Fuzzy, first of all, the difference in average income does play into it. The average monthy salary in the US is about $3800. The Cuban equivelant is .05% of that. Now unless you can prove that a pound of ground beef in Cuba sells at .05% of what it does in the US, the 20% increase does matter. In fact, if you were to adjust for income, that 20% for the Cuban consumer would probably equal a 1000% increase for an American.

    And as far as who is responsible for the food price increase in Cuba, I suggest you read the first paragraph of the article I posted, which apparently you missed.

  7. Fuzzy,
    Considering Cuba gets much of what they “sell” for free (not to mention slave labor traded) Cuba should be the most affordable place on earth. I would suggest the regime has much to do with it.

  8. Alberto, I already agreed the “difference in average income does play into it” when you are looking at the quality of lives of the people in Cuba versus here. See my post above yours.

    I was just making a general observation about the rate of food price inflation all over, that’s all. Don’t read more into it than that.

    Ignore my observation if you like (and it is certainly not original with me), but the smart money is already acting / has already acted on it.

  9. Fuzzy, far from ignoring your observation, I am addressing it. This is what you wrote:

    “It’s a difference, but we’re talking percent increases so that difference doesn’t really enter into it. There are other differences for sure that make the situation worse in Cuba. But as far as inflation goes inflation is inflation.

    Your statement implies that a percentage increase of 20% in food costs for a Cuban making $18 a month is no different than a percentage increase of 20% for an American. As you said, “inflation is inflation.” If we were comparing apples and apples, you would be correct. But in this case, we are comparing watermelons (the U.S.) and raisins (Cuba).

    And in regards to the “smart money” you refer to that is “already acting,” I’m curious to know what you are inferring by that.

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