Letter to the Editor: Prices of imported goods

Dear Editor:
Fellow Pohnpeians, are you following the prices of some of the commonly purchased imported products by the Pohnpei consumers?
It is very heartbreaking following the prices of these imported goods in Pohnpei especially at times when the supply is low and the demand is high. Yes, in business there is this theory called supply and demand. But the way it is practically occurring in Pohnpei is quite interesting and this is where this letter to the editor will sort having highlighted.
As a consumer and a Pohnpeian, I feel compelled to share with you my observations having been monitoring the prices of these commonly purchased products during shortage periods. About two months ago or more, a very popular and commonly used pig feed imported from abroad almost ran out on the island and the prices went up from $18.00 plus to $21.00 plus. This is singularly on pig feed grower. After two days, a new shipment brought in new pig feeds and the prices at the businesses selling this product went up to $21.00 plus. Then another shortage occurred at the latter part of last month, this time the price went up to $22.00 plus.


Two weeks later, chicken leg quarters were kind of scarce and the prices were varied, at some businesses they were sold at $19.00 plus and others at $21.00 plus. The cheapest price before the shortage was $16.25. After a new shipment stocking chicken leg quarters in the businesses selling this commodity, the cheapest price you would be lucky to find to feed your family was at $18.95. As of November 30, 2017, another short supply of chicken leg quarters was experienced and the price went to $21.00 plus. Two shipments have arrived at the proximate intervals and the cheapest price I have seen so far is at $19.00 plus. We are approaching a time when and where the demand of this commodity is highly considered a must for every family, yet the supply is abundance. Let us pray and hope that the price goes down so that it is affordable for every family.
In these circumstances, is this how the supply and demand’s concept applied? The demand of the supply is no longer in existence but the price of such a commodity is permanently glued at the level when there was a supply and demand. Other prices of some of the commonly purchased goods continue to climb shipment after another.
This reminds me about a business established here in Pohnpei known as the Sokehs Shopping Center very well unpopular with the Pohnpei Business Community several years back. At its inception, the prices of a sack of forty pound rice ranged from $16.00 plus to $19.00 plus. Although this business was disliked on one hand, it was very much appreciated on the other hand by the Pohnpei consumers. The price of its rice when this business was initially open was $10.00 plus. Everyone else meaning our businesses drastically dropped their prices to $10.00 plus and a little over. That business then made another decrease to $9.00 plus. Perhaps without this business, the prices of rice would be in the neighborhood of a little below $30.00.
Did you know how the price of chicken leg quarters happened to drop to $16.25? The prices of chicken leg quarters at one point in Pohnpei back then ranged from $23.00 plus to $26.00 plus. The generosity of the Joahnnes Brothers ultimately brought the price down to the lowest ever experienced and enjoyed by all walks of life in Pohnpei. Thank you very much and God bless in your future endeavor. Now that they are gone, how will we be able and enjoy the $16.00 plus pricing?
As far as I am concerned, I am not familiar with any factors internationally, regionally and domestically that lead to the prices of these imported products remaining at the levels where they are now other than to making more profits. If our businesses were able to sell their products at their lowest prices before the supply and demand period, then they are still able to sell the same products at the same price levels with reasonable markups.
Fellow Pohnpeians, I am simply sharing this information to bring to light what has been going on in Pohnpei during these critical times in order for us to collectively bear in mind whether this is in the best interest of all the people of Pohnpei most especially the disadvantaged ones trying all their best to make ends meet. The good book tells us to be considerate and giving most especially at this time of joy-CHRISTMAS-this is what it says, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Ni wahu,
Ausen T. Lambert