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)
Diesel fuel (ID/liter)
Khubuz bread (ID/piece)
Samoun bread (ID/piece)