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Archive: February 2009
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Dramatic Fluctuations in Black-Market Fuel Prices since Mid-December
02/03/2009 6:07 PM ET
Auto fuel (ID/liter)
13-Dec 30-Jan Percent change
Baghdad al-Jadida 700 600 -14.3%
Sadr City 650 650
Harthiya 700 700
'Amil 700 800 14.3%
Sha'b 800 800
Ghazaliya 700 800 14.3%
Mansour 800 800
Kadhimiya 700 700
Karrada 700 700

Sources in nine different areas around the Iraqi capital report dramatic and contradictory shifts in black-market prices for key household fuels from mid-December, with some commodities showing drops in their reported price in mid-December by as much as 50 percent in some areas of the city, while other commodities have doubled in price over the same period.

The most remarkable shifts in prices in the informal market for household energy, to which Iraqis often turn when key fuels are unavailable on the officially regulated markets, were reported for the commodity of cooking gas. A canister of the butane mix doubled in price in Sadr City and in the central commercial areas of Mansour and Karrada, with all other monitored areas reporting hikes of between 50 and 80 percent.

Meanwhile, against this spike in cooking gas prices, the street price for kerosene, used in home heating, is down since mid-December by as much as 50 percent in Sadr City, Mansour, and Karrada, and drops ranging from 33 to 44 percent were reported in the rest of the nine districts where Slogger sources report regularly on the prices of staple commodities.

Against these two divergent city-wide trends, sources in southwestern Baghdad's al-'Amil district and in the western Ghazaliya area reported hikes of 14.3 percent in auto fuel for the same time period, while Baghdad al-Jadida residents said that black-market retailers of auto fuel had lowered their price in the same time period by the same percentage. All other districts report stable black-market gasoline prices for the reported period.

Finally, against these fluctuations in the three above commodities, prices for several other household staples, including diesel fuel, Marlboro cigarettes, and two widely consumed breads all remained stable from mid-December.

Click here for a map of the nine districts mentioned in this report.


Cooking gas (ID/cylinder)

13-Dec 30-Jan Percent change
Baghdad al-Jadida 10000 16000 60.0%
Sadr City 8000 16000 100.0%
Harthiya 10000 16000 60.0%
'Amil 12000 18000 50.0%
Sha'b 10000 16000 60.0%
Ghazaliya 10000 16000 60.0%
Mansour 10000 20000 100.0%
Kadhimiya 10000 18000 80.0%
Karrada 10000 20000 100.0%

Diesel fuel (ID/liter)
13-Dec 30-Jan
Baghdad al-Jadida 900 900
Sadr City 700 700
Harthiya 800 800
'Amil 750 750
Sha'b 800 800
Ghazaliya 800 800
Mansour 800 800
Kadhimiya 800 800
Karrada 800 800

Kerosene (ID/liter)
13-Dec 30-Jan Percent change
Baghdad al-Jadida 800 500 -37.5%
Sadr City 800 400 -50.0%
Harthiya 800 500 -37.5%
'Amil 900 600 -33.3%
Sha'b 800 500 -37.5%
Ghazaliya 800 500 -37.5%
Mansour 1000 500 -50.0%
Kadhimiya 900 500 -44.4%
Karrada 1000 500 -50.0%

Marlboros (ID/carton)
13-Dec 30-Jan
Baghdad al-Jadida 20000 20000
Sadr City 18000 18000
Harthiya 20000 20000
'Amil 18000 18000
Sha'b 18000 18000
Ghazaliya 18000 18000
Mansour 20000 20000
Kadhimiya 18000 18000
Karrada 20000 20000

Khubuz bread (ID/piece)
13-Dec 30-Jan
Baghdad al-Jadida 175 175
Sadr City 100 100
Harthiya 175 175
'Amil 175 175
Sha'b 150 150
Ghazaliya 200 200
Mansour 175 175
Kadhimiya 175 175
Karrada 175 175

Samoun bread (ID/piece)
13-Dec 30-Jan
Baghdad al-Jadida 125 125
Sadr City 100 100
Harthiya 125 125
'Amil 100 100
Sha'b 100 100
Ghazaliya 100 100
Mansour 125 125
Kadhimiya 125 125
Karrada 125 125

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