By THE IRRAWADDY
The price of basic commodities, fuel and gold has risen in Rangoon following the arrest and trial of Aung San Suu Kyi, according to local residents.
According to a gold shop owner in downtown Rangoon, the price of gold in Burma reached 528,000 kyat (US $493) per tical (6.4 grams) on Tuesday, rising from 515,000 kyat ($481).
“Buyers are still increasing, especially buyers from the countryside,” said a gold shop owner. “The price of gold will go up in the coming days.”
The price of gold on the global market is currently $925 per ounce; diesel oil is $2.231 per gallon (3.8 liters); and gasoline is $2.30 per gallon. A black market fuel trader in Rangoon said that one gallon of diesel currently costs 2,200 kyat ($2.05) and a gallon of gasoline is 3,000 kyat ($2.8o).
Burma has a quota system for the allocation of fuel to car owners, allowing them to receive up to 60 gallons of fuel each month at a cost of 3,000 kyat ($2.8o) a gallon for diesel and 2,500 kyat ($2.3o) for gasoline.
The ongoing instability of Burmese politics contributes to the cost increases in basic commodities, because people tend to stock up on goods in troubled times, said a Rangoon business man.
A Rangoon foreign currency dealer said that Burmese currency prices have decreased in recent days because people tend to buy more foreign currencies, mainly the dollar.
A dollar is now at 1,070 kyat, depreciating from 1,050 on Friday. A Foreign Exchange Currency (FEC) is equal to 1,015 kyat, according to the currency exchange market in Rangoon.
According to a trader at the Bayint Naung Wholesale Market in Rangoon, standard-quality rice is currently priced at 26,000 kyat ($24) for one basket (approximately 20 kilograms per basket) and low-quality rice is 15,000 kyat ($14).