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25 April, 2024
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Consumer alerts raised over potential fuel price hikes

Shipping route shifts prompt consumer price debate


Konstantinos Karagiorgis, Director of the Consumer Protection Service, emphasized the importance of factual justification for price increases during an interview with CNA.

Karagiorgis highlighted the recent significant decline in fuel prices and attributed the sharp increase in olive oil prices in January to a shortage in Europe, affecting pricing dynamics in Cyprus.

Responding to inquiries from CNA, Karagiorgis addressed concerns raised by the Cyprus Consumers Association regarding potential unjustified price hikes in electrical appliances due to increased freight charges following alterations in shipping routes post-Houthi attacks in Yemen. He asserted that it's unfair to inform consumers of impending increases without clarity on the extent or justification of such adjustments.

The Consumer Association previously reported an 11.8% rise in large household electrical appliances, an 8.2% increase in refrigerators and freezers, a 9% hike in washing machines and dryers, and a 14.4% surge in kitchen appliance prices between January 2021 and January 2023, citing freight hikes up to €13,000. Conversely, when freight charges decreased to €2,000, price reductions averaged only 1%.

Karagiorgis cautioned against premature announcements of percentage increases, stressing the need for vigilance amid fluctuating shipping routes to prevent unwarranted price hikes. He emphasized the need for accurate market analysis to avoid exploitation by merchants capitalizing on market fluctuations.

Addressing recent fuel price reductions globally, Karagiorgis noted a corresponding decrease in inflation, with a portion of cost savings passed on to consumers. Regarding the surge in olive oil prices, attributed to shortages in Spain and Italy, Karagiorgis underscored its impact on global trade and pricing dynamics in Cyprus.

As Cyprus navigates economic uncertainties, Karagiorgis reaffirmed the Consumer Protection Service's commitment to monitor market trends closely and ensure transparency in pricing policies, urging stakeholders to exercise caution and responsibility in price adjustments.

The Director's remarks underscore the importance of informed consumer advocacy and proactive regulatory measures to safeguard consumer interests amidst evolving market dynamics.

[With information sourced from CNA]

Cyprus  |  shipping  |  economy  |  price  |  fuel  |  inflation

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