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Nearly half the food items tracked by BFI drop in price in June


Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A decline in the price of eggs and two other food items has been cited as “most responsible” for the decrease in the Basic Food Index (BFI) for the month of June, according to the June 2023 BFI released last week by the Commerce Department’s Statistics and Analysis Division.

Despite the overall decrease, DOC said several food items such as fish and ramen noodles increased in June, while other common commodities remain the same.

DOC reports that June’s BFI dropped by 0.9% and that the food “commodities most responsible for the decrease” are eggs, spare ribs, and taro.

The report points out that the average price for eggs in May was $3.46 a dozen; but the price in June dropped to $2.97 as stores seem to be replenishing their supply of eggs after the shortage that occurred in May.

Data in the DOC report shows that the price of eggs in April was $3.60.

DOC also states that nine out of the 20 food commodities contributed to June’s decrease: eggs (-14.1%), taro (-4.1%), ribs (-4.0%), turkey tail (-3.7%), sausages (-3.5%), rice (-1.5%), bread (-0.7%), mayonnaise (-0.2%) and corned beef (-0.2%).

Even with an overall decrease in the BFI, DOC reports that some food commodities have increased, such as fish (4.3%), ramen (2.8%), chicken legs (1.6%), banana (1.5%), sugar (1.0%), soda (1.0%), ice cream (0.2%), and butter (0.2%). Other common commodities such as water (bottles), milk, cases of chicken and canned tuna have remained the same.

And in case you’re wondering about the cost of turkey tails — a popular food item for many locals especially for barbecues — DOC data in the report shows the average price at $1.95 a pound, a slight decrease from $2.02 in May and April.

A total of 14 major to mid-sized retail stores have been selected for monitoring basic food costs on Tutuila island — from the far-west side to the far-east side.

DOC notes that the BFI is not to be confused with the Quarterly Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is a comprehensive standard measure of inflation and the cost of living in American Samoa.

For more information, please contact DOC’s Statistics & Analysis Division at 633-0120 or email