VWOS: “Fuel hike to affect prices”
Wholesalers and retailers pointed out that the exchange rates on the street have risen and that they are currently waiting to see if the exchange rates at Customs will also go up. The recent fuel hike will most certainly have an impact on the prices of various products in local stores and businesses,” Gretl Wolfram, chairwoman at the Retailers’ and Entrepreneurs’ Association Suriname (WOVS), told Times of Suriname. In the last week of October the WOVS indicated that consumers would notice a drop in prices due to the fact that the exchange rate at Customs had dropped. Prices did in fact drop. But this week the exchange rates at the bank and on the street once again went up. The exchange rate for the US dollar at Customs is still SRD 6.95 while each dollar costs at least 19 cents more on the streets and at the bank. The WOVS cautiously pointed out that these recent developments could complicate things. The chairwoman pointed out that merchants will also raise their prices to cover the additional costs as a result of the fuel hike. The price of gasoline and diesel reportedly rose with SRD 0.25 at the beginning of this week. The chairwoman also pointed out that she expects that consumers will unjustly blame retailers of the price increase. She explained that retailers are allowed to calculate a profit margin of 20%.