Prices in Mozambique rise due to alleged lack of small change

15 June 2007

Maputo, Mozambique, 15 June – The Bank of Mozambique is concerned about an increase in consumer prices due to an alleged lack of low value coins to serve as change, the bank’s chairwoman, Esselina Macome said in Maputo Thursday.

According to daily newspaper Notícias, of Maputo, the central bank was reacting to a statement by the president of the Association of Mozambican Bakeries, Victor Miguel, according to whom it is the coins that are in circulation that, partly, dictate the prices set for products.

According to Miguel, products that should cost, for example, 1 metical and 70 cents, end up costing 2 meticals or 1 metical and 50 cents, because retailers do not have coins of under 50 cents in value.

The bank’s chairwoman said that it was not true that there were no lower-value coins, because enough of them had been minted.

“We are concerned because economic agents say that prices are being inflated due to a lack of smaller value change. This is not true, as the central bank has an excess of coins with which to supply the market,” she noted.

This alleged lack of coins makes retailer, instead of giving change in cash, hand over sweets, chewing gum and even little papers, which is not a comfortable situation for customers.

In his turn, Pinto de Abreu, a Bank of Mozambique director, said he considered the problem to be one of treasury management by institutions, as companies, as well as retail establishments, were not correctly managing their stock of coins.

This issue was brought up in Maputo, at a meeting organized by the Bank of Mozambique, on the occasion of the 27th anniversary of Mozambique’s currency, the Metical, which is marked on June 16. (macauhub)