Price of pork in Cuba: a new service from elTOQUE

The price of pork in Cuba has become a thermometer of the local economy. In its variations, it has always been oscillating upward due to the inflation rate and decline in output.

In a country where pork is more than a food – it is part of culture, tradition and celebrations – knowing the daily offering value has become a basic necessity.

for that reason, the touch Launched its service of reference price in CUP of pound of pork. We start in Havana and show value for more than a dozen presentations (steak, coconut, loin, shoulder, leg, sirloin, etc.), but the aim is to expand it to the rest of the country.

We want to provide readers with an overview of the behavior of the product that is to some people the “Dr. Jones Index” of the Cuban economy.

In this link you can find the new service which will also be shared on elTOQUE’s social networks. In addition to the price in CUP, the equivalent in USD is also offered, taking the day’s informal market reference rate (TRMI) value as reference.

Price of pork in Cuba today:

How is the data obtained?

Data are obtained through daily observations in a group of approximately 40 formal market establishments distributed across 11 municipalities of Havana.

A formal market establishment is a place, physical or virtual, in which a product is systematically marketed. An establishment must make appreciable volume of sales through influx of customers, must have a retail sales method and must guarantee continuity in sales of the selected product.

To the traditional physical establishment, new modalities have been added in recent years (such as online commerce). Therefore, a formal market establishment could be an agricultural market or an MSME offering its products through WhatsApp or any other social network; Among other options those who have the authorization to conduct business activity.

Observation refers to information about the price of a product which is taken at a specific establishment at a specific time. For our monitoring purposes, we include a minimum of eight observations per product in the reference period.

How is the reference value calculated?

The need to provide information is to standardize the prices collected.

The quantity must always be expressed in the same unit of measurement. The first step is to take the observed prices toward presentation per pound of pork (the most commonly used unit of measurement in Cuba for the product).

For example, if an establishment sells sirloin at 1,000 cups per kilogram, we calculate the price per pound for observation: 453.51 cups (assuming that one kilogram is equal to approximately 2,205 pounds and that the result of the conversion is rounded to two decimal places. (rounded up to places).

In addition to average values, to cover the widest possible spectrum of information we include the maximum and minimum values ​​recorded over the observation period, given the diversity of factors influencing the price of pork, especially the geographical location of the point. do. Sale: This is not Miramar, the price of pork steak in Playa is the same as in Santiago de Las Vegas.

The prices provided are indicator And it may not reflect the latest market prices, which can change within hours. Therefore, we recommend confirming information from other sources before making decisions based on monitoring.

Why do we use moving average?

The average is a measure of central tendency commonly used by statistical offices to capture price information in markets. Given that pork sales are carried out in formal markets and, for the most part, in physical establishments where it can be verified that transactions take place, the average allows us to accurately reflect the central price (reference). Gives around which prices move. Different prices in the market.

The price that is calculated and published daily is an average or moving average of the observations of the last seven days. The mean was chosen to reduce potential distortions and additional variability due to the limited number of daily observations.

Moving averages are widely recommended and used to smooth the trajectory of the data when you want to show a more stable signal about changes in a variable.

Additionally, outlying extreme values ​​are eliminated. In this case, those that are greater than +2 standard deviations (mean variability) or less than -2 standard deviations.

The prices provided are indicative and may not reflect the most current market prices which may change within a few hours.

Because the methodology used is based on averages, reported prices may not exactly match typical prices at formal market establishments. Therefore, we recommend confirming information from other sources before making decisions based on monitoring.

What is price monitoring?

Price monitoring is nothing new in Cuba’s independent press. For more than nine years, 14ymedio has been publishing the prices of various basic foods in different markets across Cuba.

In countries with high inflation and low production, such as Cuba, this type of service can be especially valuable to consumers and merchants for several reasons. To the extent that market operating segments expand in the Cuban economy, price dynamics over time become one of the main signals to guide the decision making of economic actors.

Food prices have been hardest hit by the effects of inflation as a result of the economic crisis; And they reflect the food emergency that Cuba is facing.

Price monitors allow users to compare prices between different markets and stores, which is useful in high volatility environments. Furthermore, it helps consumers take informed decisions and facilitates comparison and adjustment of selling prices for producers and sellers (based on current market dynamics).

Cuba’s National Office of Statistics and Information (ONEI) also publishes food prices as part of its calculation of the Consumer Price Index (CPI). However, the information has a monthly frequency and is shared with a delay of at least one month. Therefore, having daily data on prices of key food items in the consumer basket fills a sensitive information gap in an economy that faces one of the highest inflation rates in the region.

Although the prices reported in price monitoring do not constitute a price index, knowing the direction and speed with which they move provides an approximate indication of the general trend in food inflation.

In Cuba, if there is one thing that is “the base of everything” it is not lemons at all (although its price is also inflated), but pork.

Why do we do it?

The main objective of elTOQUE with the service is to provide information in a poorly informed market and to satisfy the request of some readers who have long asked us to monitor the price of food and provide a reference. In this sense, the price of pork in Havana’s formal markets is only the first step. We will expand monitoring to other markets and regions.

The scope of our surveillance is limited, we recognize this. For this reason, we appreciate the contribution of users to see the prices in their usual shopping places, whether physical or virtual.

To send us a photo or message with the price of the products you see on your shopping tour, you can write to us at (email protected) or our WhatsApp and Telegram contacts. We appreciate that you have ascertained the place and date of observation. We do not require the identity of the person who sends us the data.

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