Saturday, January 23, 2016

Price Controls Re-emerge in Cuba’s 2016 Economy

Price Controls Re-emerge in Cuba's 2016 Economy
January 22, 2016

An experiment started a few days after the meeting of Cuba's 2016
National Assembly meeting. The issue is food prices, and the solution –
or the experiment – is price controls, which are officially called,

The National Assembly of People's Power, held at the Havana Convention
Center on December 29, 2015, was called, "Year 57 of the Revolution".
Although not mentioned directly in his address, Raul Castro said that
measures would be taken to bring prices in line with wages in response
to complaints about food prices.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, Cuba has the highest per
capita rice consumption of any country in the Western Hemisphere. Unable
to meet production targets, Cuba imports more than 60% of its
consumption of rice.

Prior to the 1962 embargo, Cuba was the number one export destination
for US-grown rice. In 2000, Congress permitted US agricultural exports
to Cuba. US rice sales to the island nation totaled 635,000 MT between
2002 and 2006. A rule tightening in 2005 crippled US exports to Cuba,
and there have been no US rice sales to Cuba since 2008.

According to the USDA, Cuba's field yields averaged 2.8 metric tons per
hectare (rough-rice basis) from 2009/10 to 2013/14 and have shown no
signs of long-term growth since the late 1970s. Cuba's yields are low
compared with other rice growing countries in the region. From 2009/10
to 2013/14, rice yields averaged 4.7 metric tons per hectare in the
Dominican Republic, 4.4 metric tons in Nicaragua, and 3.5 metric tons in
Costa Rica.

In another development, a Pakistani ship set several days ago sail
carrying around 15,000 tons rice to Cuba.

Pakistan's Prime Minister, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, said that Pakistan
would extend all possible assistance to help Cuba by reciprocating in
the same spirit as Cuba had done by sending teams of doctors following
the aftermath of the country's magnitude 7.6 earthquake that took the
lives of more than 100,000 Pakistanis in 2005.

Source: Prices Controls Re-emerge in Cuba's 2016 Economy | Cuba Journal

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