Supply disruption sends prices soaring


Aug 25, 2015-

Supply of daily essentials and vegetables has gone down in two major markets of Kathmandu and Biratnagar due to continuous banda in the Tarai region, sending the prices soaring.

Importers and producers of daily essential goods said the ongoing strikes in region have affected supplies of products like edible oil, rice, pulses and spices, among others in the Kathmandu valley. They warned the valley may face a scarcity of the products if the situation remains same. “Vehicular movement in Tarai has come to a halt for the last many days. Factories are closed and we have not been able to bring in raw materials from the customs office,” said Manish Kumar Agrawal, director of Shreekrishna Oil Refinery.

Shipments of vegetables have also dropped in major wholesale markets like Kalimati and Balkhu, among others. The kalimati market received only 100 tonnes of vegetables on Sunday and Monday each. Normally, around 600 tonnes of vegetables arrive to the Kalimati market every day, according to the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market Development Board.

Ramesh Dangol, planning officer at the board, said the market could face a shortage of vegetables and the prices would rise significantly in the coming days if the supply remains interrupted.

“As vehicular movement was low Sunday and Monday due to nationwide banda, most of the vegetables have remained unsold. But the market will face a shortage once retailers purchase the stocks,” he said.

The price of Onion, which has been soaring in the recent days due to a rise in the prices in the Indian market, could become more dearer. Wholesale price of onion reached Rs108 per kg from Rs90 last week. Traders said the market has been receiving onion two-three times a week.

Price of other vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, bitter gourd, bottle gourd, pointed gourd, smooth gourd, snake gourd and squash has risen by up to 40 percent in a week. Pointed gourd was traded at Rs55 per kg on Monday, against Rs38 last week.

The smooth gourd has become dearer by Rs10 per kg to Rs35. Cauliflower soared to Rs45 from Rs35. The valley receives a huge amount of vegetables from Terai and the prices are skyrocketing there too.

Meanwhile, vegetable prices in Biratnagar have soared by up to 50 percent. A kg of cauliflower costs Rs45 now against Rs30 a week ago. Price of ladyfinger doubled to Rs30 per kg in week.

Pawan Bhagat, one of the wholesalers in Biratnagar, said the supplies do not even meet 30 percent of the demand.

Chandra Gelal, a customer from Kanchanbari said: “Frequent strikes have not only affected our life, but the prices gone up beyond affordability.”

Published: 25-08-2015 10:24

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