Will Cuba’s Retail Milk Price Go Down in 2016?

December 26, 2015 |

Fernando Ravsberg

Powdered milk costs 6.60 CUC (or just under $7.50 USD) per kilo.

Powdered milk costs 6.60 CUC (or just under $7.50 USD) per kilo.

HAVANA TIMES — Cuba is currently purchasing powdered milk for US $2,598 per ton. That’s what was paid to Louis Dreyfus Commodities, a company of Argentina. I’m not a great mathematician but I think at this price, the kilo cost around US $2.60.

We should all be glad that today Cuban State importers are purchasing milk closer to home since before they were buying it from New Zealand, with the obvious higher transportation costs. Who knows why they were traveling so far to buy it?

I remember when they raised the price of milk because it was more expensive in Oceania. Hopefully, now the price will go down because it costs half as much in Rio de la Plata, Argentina. And that could happen if it wasn’t that this staple food in marked up by a 240% tax.

I’m not asking for subsidies; my wish for 2016 is that milk and other staples foods are put in stores at market price without ridiculous taxes that punish the poorest, depriving them of access to them.

Editors note:  Cuba does not meet its milk production needs, having to import a large share.  With the average salary being just over US $20 a month, paying $7.50 for a kilo of powdered milk is way beyond the reach of many.

 

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  • Moses Patterson

    I don’t understand why Cuba can’t raise Dairy cows? In fact, cows in general. Lots of open space. Moderate climate. How f*ck ed up are your animal husbandry procedures that you can’t get cows to reproduce?

    • Informed Consent

      Los barbudos were good at revolution, mayhem and death. Proper government …..not so much

    • bjmack

      You can’t make this up Moses! What a great system and I guess the embargo has something to do with not being able to raise cows and provide wholesome milk to the masses.

  • nidal shehadeh

    unfortunately when the capitalist want to strangle an economy they have hundreds of ways of doing it , the socialist revolution in Cuba was not allowed to reach its full potential , it was attacked from every angle , what happened to the Cuban economy was a conspiracy in all the meaning of the word ,
    unfortunately this is what happened when you live next door to the world’s biggest bully the American evil empire , anyway we all need to be thankful that it didn’t get any worse considering what American evil empire is capable off Hiroshima Nagasaki Syria Iraq Central America South America Vietnam , the list goes on goes on .
    this week a story on RT TV confirmed what I’ve been saying about the evilness of the capitalist system , in Texas they kept someones son sedated so they could use him for spare parts , this individual’s father had to pick up a gun and hijack the hospital chronic care unit so his son would not be chucked to pieces and sold on the open market the same way they sell a butchered cow,
    I did a little digging into it , it is something you wouldn’t believe until you see it for yourself watch this video link

    https://www.rt.com/usa/327077-family-coma-hospital-texas/video/

    • Moses Patterson

      Are you daft? It seems that you misunderstand this report. This is possibly a medical malpractice case, but nothing about selling body parts. Watch it again.

      • nidal shehadeh

        in the end of the day it came down to dollars and cents , they chose the cheapest way out , instead of keeping him alive they were about to pile him on the scrap heap , I know it out of my own experience dealing with the workers compensation, on one occasions I was in the surgery room getting knee meniscus surgery ,I requested local anesthesia they injected me in my back with twice the amount they should have , the first injection did not work , apparently they injected it in the nerve going to a heart ,I had a heart attack , luckily I was in the surgery room , they were able to revive me , when I wake up they had a ready story to tell me
        ( heart rate went down to 40 beats a minute )
        they had A ready story to say just in case , I am quite sure if I would have died my family would have been able to do nothing about it ,
        here is another story out of money that I have come across , the same thing it came down to dollars and cents , a paralytic man was dumped on Skid Row in Los Angeles

        Paraplegic allegedly `dumped’ on skid row – latimes
        Los Angeles Times › articles › feb › local

        http://articles.latimes.com/2007/feb/09/local/me-dumping9

        • Moses Patterson

          Potencial medical malpractice cases has nothing to do with this thread. Wrong blog dude

    • Informed Consent

      Your idiocy is profound! What does your comment have to do with milk production in Cuba? And where did you get the ideas that this poor soul in Texas was going to have his organs sold in the open market??!! In fact if you can send me the link to just one credible source that says his organs were to be sold in the “open market” I’ll find a way to send you a crisp new $100 bill. Well?…….

  • Walter Teague

    Of course it has nothing to do with years of US efforts to destroy the Cuban economy. If the economic barriers are dropped, we will see.

    • Moses Patterson

      Walter you might as well blame the weather. Milk comes from dairy cows and other animals like goats. The US embargo has nothing to do with Cuba’s ability to raise cows.

      • Walter Teague

        Moses, clearly you speak as if you have never been either a dairy farmer or agricultural investor. There are lots of such people in the US who would love to be allowed by US law to bring needed help to Cuba.

        • Moses Patterson

          How would Cuba pay for it!

  • Fez Fernandez

    The dictatorship makes millions of dollars from importing food instead of producing it. They love to get loans from Castro’s lovers like Rousseff, Putin, Mujica and the list is long. Loans/Credits that are very lucrative when reselling those imported products/food to cubans that have relatives outside of Cuba, and the same cubans that will be paying those international debts in the future when the Castro’s get tired of making so much money or when first world economies stop supporting the dictatorship (Canada, USA, Brasil, Spain, Norway, Holland, China, Argentina, and so on).

  • Griffin

    Transportation costs from New Zealand did not make the cost of milk in Cuba higher. That was a lie told by the Castro regime to cover-up their price gouging. New Zealand is still one of the lowest cost producers of dairy products. Most of the costs in shipping are incurred in loading & unloading. The long sea voyage is a relatively insignificant factor in costs.

    For comparison sake: in Toronto 4 litres of fresh milk costs CAN$4.00, and that is under a marketing board system which keeps the prices high to support local producers. With the minimum wage in Canada over $10, even the lowest income workers can afford fresh milk. Powdered milk is selling for $10.37 per kilo (which produces 8.5 litres of milk), with is even cheaper.

    • Moses Patterson

      The reason milk costs so much in Cuba is said to be because of a 20 year-old Russian study which asserts that human beings do not need cows milk beyond the age of 7 years old. As a result, the Castros’ managers who set prices for food imports purposely set artificially high prices to help subsidize food imports they consider more important. That’s the problem with centralized management. These kinds of price distortions are a common occurrence. Now, before the Castro bootlickers weigh in, I have tried to find the study behind this pricing decision. No luck but Cubans have long been aware of this rational. It may just be urban legend but it’s the excuse that Cubans have been told to explain the pricing.

  • Doug1943

    It might make economic sense for Cuba to import ALL its milk, given that this commodity has become cheaper and cheaper elsewhere. (See http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jan/16/dairy-farmers-milk-prices-economy). Or it might not.

    The only way to know is to free up the economy, so the people who sell milk can buy it from the cheapest producer without having to clear their decision with some Central Planner behind a desk somewhere. It might turn out that Britain can produce milk more cheaply than Cuba, even with transport costs, and that Cuba can produce bananas more cheaply than Britain (a pretty good bet), and then the obvious will happen.

    • Fez Fernandez

      Cuba must produce its own dairy, there is no reason to import it.