High demand, low supply send fruit prices upward

- SUMAN BASHYAL, Kathmandu
High demand, low supply send fruit prices upward

May 14, 2014-

Fruit prices in the Kathmandu valley have jumped 10-30 percent on increased demand and low supply. Wholesalers said that orders for fruits from juice and

fruit shops had soared with the temperature rising everyday. According to traders, prices of grapes, bananas and apples have risen steeply.

Prices of grapes surged 30 percent in the wholesale market to reach Rs 170 per kg compared to Rs 130 a week ago. Amar Baniya, president of the Kuleshwor Fruits Wholesaler’s Association, said prices took off as the fruit’s season was coming to an end.

“Due to the end of the season for grapes, supply has declined massively pushing up prices,” he said. “Traders have been selling grapes largely from their stocks.” Retail prices range from Rs 240 to Rs 250 per kg.

Similarly, wholesale prices of bananas have jumped 25 percent. They now cost Rs 75 per dozen, up from Rs 60. Traders said banana shipments had dropped in recent days. “They used to come from Kawasoti in Nawalparasi, Tandi in Chitwan and Sunsari district, among a few other districts in the Tarai, but we are not seeing supplies from these places,” he said.

According to him, most of the bananas now arriving in the market are from Andhra Pradesh in India and they cost more. Retailers have been selling the bananas for Rs 100 to Rs 110 per dozen. Likewise, prices of sugarcane, one of the major fruits widely consumed in the summer to make juice, rose to Rs 900 per a bundle of 20 pieces from Rs 600.

Generally, orders for sugarcane from juice shops double during the summer season, but the supply has remained constant in the wholesale market which has led to a rise in prices, said traders.

Another summer fruit, watermelon, also became dearer compared to last month. They now cost Rs 35 per kg in the wholesale market, up from Rs 25 per kg. According to traders, 20 tonnes of watermelons are consumed daily in the Kathmandu valley during the summer season.  

Similarly, prices of apples have soared to Rs 115 per kg from Rs 100 last week. Traders attributed the rise in prices to increased prices in China from where most of the apples sold in Nepal are imported. Fruits like papaya, sweet orange and pineapple also saw a minimal increase in prices.   

However, prices of pomegranate and mango tumbled with the start of the season for these fruits. Pomegranate prices have dropped to Rs 230 per kg from Rs 250 in the wholesale market. Similarly, mango also came down to Rs 60 per kg from Rs 70. Traders said pr-ices would decline further as fre-sh harvests arrived in the market.

Published: 15-05-2014 10:13

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