Money

Fruit prices increase as Tihar festival kicks off

- KRISHANA PRASAIN, Kathmandu

Nov 7, 2018-

With the festive season in full swing, fruit prices have continued to rise at major wholesale markets in Kalimati, Balkhu and Kuleshwor. This is primarily due to the hike in transportation charges.

Fruits such as banana and pomegranate have become costlier over a month. The wholesale price of banana has increased by 30.77 percent within a month. Banana which used to cost Rs65 per kg has hit Rs 85 per kg. Similarly, the price of pomegranate has become dearer, increasing by 40 percent. Pomegranate which cost Rs125 per kg a month ago was priced at Rs175 on Tuesday. 

The increased labour cost has also increased the price of fruits, said traders. The market has not received new stock of seasonal fruits and this has caused prices to go up, said a fruit seller at Balkhu.

On Tuesday, banana was being traded at Rs60 to Rs90 per kg while pomegranate was sold at Rs170 to Rs180 on Tuesday, at Balkhu wholesale market.

During the festival season, the demand for fruits surge by 50 percent and consumers are compelled to pay inflated prices.

While most fruits have seen their prices spike, apple prices have not increased  too much. According to traders, apple prices have remained relatively stable as there are various types of apples in the market. An apple is priced based on the quality of the fruit. 

The prices of fruits have increased by 5 to 10 percent, said Resham Tamang, officer at Balkhu Krishi Tatha Tarkari Bazar. With the increase in demand during festival time, the prices are also raised, he said. He added that most of the fruits being sold during festival time are imports and are therefore priced higher.

During the festival period, the Kathmandu Valley consumes nearly 700 tonnes of fruits daily. To meet this demand, the Valley supplies 1,200 tonnes of fruits daily, said Ram Krishna Kunwar, executive director of Nepal Fruits Wholesalers Association.

Almost 90 percent of the fruit is imported from India and China, said Tamang.  Fuji apples are imported from China while fruits like banana, pomegranate, sweet orange and papaya, are imported from India.

Published: 07-11-2018 09:03

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