Potato prices jump on reduced supply

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Potato prices jump on reduced supply

Oct 12, 2014-

Potato prices have jumped 37 percent within a week in the Kathmandu valley due to a slowdown in supply. Red potato, which cost Rs 52 per kg a week ago, now costs Rs 60-75 per kg. Local vendors are selling white potato at Rs 55 per kg against Rs 40 a week ago.

On Sunday, red potato was sold at Rs 54-56 per kg while white potato was sold at Rs 49-50 per kg in the major whole markets in the valley. Traders said that fresh shipments had been small while imports from Bangladesh had come to a near halt due to the Eid holiday.  “Because of the Eid celebration in Bangladesh, very few shipments are arriving from there, and local harvests are yet to arrive in the Kathmandu market which has led to a rise in prices,” said Dipendra Shrestha, a potato wholesaler at the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Wholesale Market, the largest vegetable market in the valley.

“We have to depend on imports, but we are not able to buy Indian potatoes as they have become dearer after the government fixed minimum export prices.”

According to Shrestha,  only 10-15 truckloads of potatoes are arriving daily at the Kalimati market against of 90-100 truckloads at other times. Potato costs around IRs 40 per kg in most Indian markets. However, Shrestha said that prices would start to fall after October 14 when the Eid celebration ends and supplies resume.

Similarly, Shyam Lamichhane, manager at the Balkhu Agriculture, Vegetables and Fruits Market, said that the market had been witnessing a fall in supplies from last week.

“Although we are receiving new harvests from Kavre which is the major supplier of potatoes to the valley, the shipments have fallen short of demand,” he said, adding that prices could start to decline after two-three weeks when new harvests arrive in the market from Panchkhal, Sindhupalchok, Bhaktapur and Sankhu. 

Published: 13-10-2014 09:26

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