Food price inflation eased in Qatar during August, government data showed, suggesting the country was successful in reducing the impact of the unjustifiable blockade imposed by some Arab states.
Food and beverage prices climbed 4.5% from a year earlier in July, their fastest increase since at least 2014, and shot up 4.2% from the previous month, Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released by the Ministry of Development Planning & Statistics showed.
In August, however, food and beverage prices only rose 2.8% from a year ago and fell back 0.6% from July, suggesting Qatar had succeeded in establishing new channels to obtain food economically.
Qatari shipping lines, which lost the use of Dubai as a trans-shipment centre because of the blockade, have been establishing new services via Oman, Kuwait and the subcontinent.
The new routes, launched after the imposition of blockade by three Gulf countries and an African Arab country, have connected Hamad Port to Sohar and Salalah ports in Oman, Shuwaikh Port in Kuwait, Karachi Port in Pakistan, Izmir Port in Turkey, Mundra and Nava Shiva Ports in India.
Qatari food processors have since boosted their operations to make up for the disruption to imports.
The MDPS data showed housing and utility prices sank 4% from a year earlier in August, and fell 0.4% from the previous month. In July, they had dropped 3.6% from a year ago.
Qatar's overall consumer price index dropped 0.4% from a year earlier in August, its first fall since at least early 2015, when the current data series began.
The CPI of August reached 108.3 (base year 2013), showing a decrease by 0.4%, when compared with July this year and the CPI of August 2016.
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