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‘Consumers spent JD58 million on food, fuel before storm’

By Dana Al Emam - Feb 23,2015 - Last updated at Feb 23,2015

AMMAN — Consumers in Jordan spent around JD58 million on food and fuel during the few days before the blizzard, which hit the Kingdom over the weekend, stakeholders said on Monday.

In phone interviews with The Jordan Times, representatives of the food and gas station sectors said the run up to the snowstorm was marked by an increased demand on basic commodities, as consumers rushed to secure their needs. 

Raed Hamadah, representative of the food sector at the Jordan Chamber of Commerce, said Jordanians spent around JD25 million on food items — including staples, canned food and snacks — ahead of the blizzard.

He noted that the local market witnessed an “active” demand on food items and most consumers bought “only what they needed for two days”.

“People learned from January’s snowstorm not to stock large amounts of food at their homes,” Hamadah added. 

The demand on food items before this polar front was almost half of that for January’s blizzard, he noted.

The authorities’ efforts to clear snow from roads enabled supermarkets and shopping centres to open on the second day of the storm, Hamadah said, with the majority of the capital’s 15,000 odd supermarkets and food stores open for business during the blizzard.

He cited “extra precautions” taken by shop owners in stocking up on larger amounts of goods with long shelf lives “to avoid running out of food items”.




Consumption of bread rose eightfold during the snowstorm, as consumers bought some 65 million loaves, a quantity sufficient to feed 25 million people, according to Bakery Owners Association President Abdul Ilah Hamawi.

The cost of the purchased bread stands at around JD2 million.

“The unprecedented demand for subsidised bread, as well as pastries and other products made with non-subsidised flour left most bakeries, even major ones, empty,” Hamawi said.

He added that bakeries worked at full capacity in order to meet the demand, citing purchases of “unreasonable” amounts, which affects the quality of products and prevents other customers from finding bread.

“Bakeries are now working carefully to produce only enough to meet demand, as many families have barely consumed what they bought,” Hamawi noted.

Fuel, gas


The demand on oil derivatives and gas cylinders also rose ahead of the blizzard, according to Ahmad Hattab, director of the Gas Station Owners Association (GSOA).

GSOA figures indicate that consumers bought some 47,000 tonnes of oil derivatives worth JD25 million, and spent around JD6.7 million on 845,000 gas cylinders during this period.

Hattab said there were no “remarkable” pricing violations, compared with 31 registered violations during January’s blizzard.

He noted that gas stations had “enough” fuel reserves, but some suppliers ran out of gas cylinders due to the high demand and the blocked roads that prevented the movement of goods.

“Performance went back to normal once the roads were cleared of snow,” Hattab noted.

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