18 Feb 2004

Cook Islands price controls on foods about to take effect

4:14 pm on 18 February 2004

The prices of some staple foods in the Cook Islands will change from next week as the new price order takes effect.

The director responsible for the Price Control Tribunal, David Greig, says this will affect many items like flour, baked beans, spaghetti, tea, coffee, butter and eggs.

Mr Greig says he's expecting people to stock up on corned beef because the price of that is coming down.

"There is a justification that the price of corned beef on the shelves should come down because of the change of international costs such as the freight changes, that sort of thing. But, one of the main factors that's driving these prices down is the currency exchange rate which fluctuates from time to time"

The Cook Islands uses the New Zealand dollar as its currency which is presently strong against the U.S. dollar.

Mr Greig says the prices for the outer islands will be fixed by the end of this week.

Under the price order, importers and retailers are given a maximum price that can be charged for some goods.