Fruit prices take off as temperature rises

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Fruit prices take off as temperature rises

Apr 22, 2015-

Fruit prices in the Kathmandu valley have risen on low supply and high demand. Traders said that demand had been increasing with the start of the summer season but shipments from various parts of the country and India had remained low. According to traders, demand for mango, grape and sugarcane, in particular, have swollen.

Traders said that Indian mangoes had started arriving in the market. However, their prices are on the high side this summer due to lowered production in India after unseasonal rains destroyed fruit crops.

Various types of mangoes are being sold in the market at prices ranging from Rs160 to Rs200 per kg against Rs100 to Rs120 per kg during the same period last year.

“Indian farmers are selling new mangoes at higher prices to compensate for losses caused by the rains,” said Mukunda Shrestha, a wholesaler at Kuleshwor. He added that prices could go up this summer as short supplies of mangos have been predicted in many parts of India.

On Wednesday, Dasheri mango was being sold at Rs90 per kg and Banganpalli mango at Rs120 per kg at the Kuleshwor Fruits Wholesale Market. Traders said that prices would start to fall from June when Nepali mangoes start arriving from the Tarai.

“The mangoes being sold now have been imported from Nagpur, Madras and Andhra Pradesh in India but Nepali mangoes should start arriving from Siraha, Saptari, Mahottari and Dhanusha next month,” said Shrestha. According to traders, a truckload of mangos arrives every two days.

Similarly, grape prices have gone up by Rs100 to Rs200 per carton in the wholesale market. “We used to buy a 20 kg carton of grapes for Rs2,400 a week ago, but now a carton costs Rs2,500 to Rs2,600,” said Shrestha. Retail prices of grapes range from Rs180 to Rs200 per kg.

Mahesh Basnet, secretary of the Kuleshwor Fruits Wholesalers’ Association, said that sugarcane had been in short supply from last week. “Orders from fruit and juice shops have been rising, but the wholesale market has not been able to obtain enough supplies,” he added.

However, prices of banana, papaya, watermelon, apple and sweet orange have dropped from last week. Bananas are being sold for Rs48 to Rs60 per dozen against Rs65 to Rs70 per dozen earlier. Apples cost Rs110 to Rs200 per kg while papaya is available for Rs20 to Rs25 per kg in the wholesale market.

Watermelon has dropped to Rs20 to Rs25 per kg compared to Rs35 to Rs40 per kg earlier due to the arrival of Nepali watermelon. “Prices have been fluctuating as per swings in demand and supply,” said Bhawani Shankar Chaulagain, a wholesaler at Kuleshwor.

Published: 23-04-2015 09:10

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