Print Edition - 2014-06-10 | MONEY
Rice, pulses dearer; oil, sugar cheaper
Jun 9, 2014-
Prices of essential commodities like rice and pulses have soared while prices of edible oil and sugar have dropped in the Kathmandu valley over the past one month.
Mansuli Pokhareli rice now costs Rs 60 per kg against Rs 55 a month ago. Sona rice costs Rs 52 per kg against Rs 46 previously in the retail market. Likewise, Sona Mansuli rice has risen to Rs 55 per kg from Rs 50, and parboiled Sona rice has climbed to Rs 52 per kg from Rs 46.
Meanwhile, lentil has become dearer by Rs 5 and reached Rs 20 per kg in the retail market. Small mas pulse rose Rs 10 per kg over the month and now costs Rs 120 per kg. Similarly, mung has incr-eased to Rs 180 per kg from Rs 160.
Retailers have attributed the rise in prices to hoarding. They said that rice had become dearer with old stocks running out. Prices are expected to remain at these levels until new harvests arrive in the market. “Farmers are presently busy planting rice, and stocks have started to run out contributing to the price rise” said Pabitra Man Bajracharya, president of the Retailers Association of Nepal.
However, prices of edible oil and sugar have come down in recent days. Traders said that edible oil prices decreased due to a strengthening of the Nepali rupee against the US dollar as the raw materials used for manufacturing edible oil are imported from third countries.
Mustard oil now costs Rs 140 per litre against Rs 150 a month ago. Sunflower oil is being sold at Rs 135 per litre compared to Rs 140 per litre last month. Likewise, soybean oil costs Rs 130 per litre against Rs 135 per litre previously in the retail market.
“As the raw materials used in making edible oil is imported from the international market by paying in US dollars, and the Nepali currency has been rising against the greenback, prices have started to fall,” said Ishwor Shrestha, an oil and sugar wholesaler.
During the first nine months of the current fiscal year, Nepal imported crude soybean oil worth Rs 11.92 billion from third countries other than India. Likewise, the country imported crude palm oil worth Rs 2.97 billion.
Meanwhile, sugar has become cheaper by Rs 5 per kg and now costs Rs 65 per kg in the retail market. “An increase in the production of sugar in the country has helped to bring down prices,” said Shrestha.
Sugar imports have fallen drastically this year with shipments in the first nine months amounting to a mere Rs 55 million compared to Rs 1 billion during the same period last year.
Published: 10-06-2014 12:54