New heights: Dry fruit prices go nuts in winter

Shopkeepers say action should be taken against dealers

APP January 18, 2017

LAHORE: Prices of dry fruits, including almond, cashew nuts and pistachio, have registered a sharp increase as demand has risen with the dropping temperature.

A survey conducted at various city markets by the APP revealed that compared to last year’s rates, the cost of one kilogramme almonds has gone up by Rs300, pistachio by Rs250 and cashew by around Rs300.

The owner of a dried fruits retail outlet at Chouburji Chowk said people buy dried fruits mostly in the winter season. Giving the reason for high rates, he said they bought the fruits at high rates from wholesalers. Besides, they had to spend extra amounts importing dried fruits from Afghanistan, India, Iran, China and Vietnam, he added.

Wholesalers stored the dried fruits, which caused the shortage of commodities in the market and thereby leads to an increase in prices, he said.

The dealers of Akbari Mandi said the wholesale market in the city observed an increase in prices is due to heavy transport charges as well as export of dry fruits. Every market and superstore has its own rate for dried fruits in various localities, he added.

The same item with same quality was being sold at a difference of Rs200 and Rs800 per kilogramme in different stores in the city. On the other hand, consumers complained that prices of dried fruits were high this year and becoming out of reach.

They urged authorities to take action against exorbitant rates of dried fruits dealers. Despite high prices, wholesalers and retailers said dried fruits demands remained brisk across the  city, saying they did roaring business this season.

This year, varieties of almonds (American, Qandhari or local) without shell (geree) are being sold between Rs1,200 to 1,600 per kilogramme, pistachios Rs1,400 to Rs1,800 per kilogramme and Rs2,000 to Rs2,500 per kilogramme, respectively, walnuts Rs450 to Rs900 per kilogramme and Rs2,600 to Rs3,100 per kilogramme, cashew nuts (salted) Rs1,600 to Rs2,300 per kilogramme, raisin (Kishmish) Rs550 to Rs600 per kilogramme while pine nuts (Chilgoza) were observed to be selling for anywhere between Rs2,400 to Rs2,850 per kilogramme, Dates at Rs250 to Rs600 per kilogramme while peanuts, the most sought after item of winter, is available at push carts at Rs200 to Rs300 per kg.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 19th, 2017.


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