Short supply sees fruit prices soar in Valley

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Short supply sees fruit prices soar in Valley

May 25, 2015-

Fruit prices have risen in the Kathmandu valley due to short supply. Over the last one month, apple has become dearer by up to Rs100.

Nepal imports apple from China, while mango, banana, pomegranate and papaya, among others, are imported from India. Wholesalers say apples imported from China have been stuck at Tatopani customs since the April 25 earthquake.

“As the customs office has not been allowing commercial containers, except for relief materials, our 40 containers of apples are stuck at Khasha of China,” said Amar Baniya, president of the Fruits Wholesalers Association.

He said the earthquake also damaged many warehouses where the fruits had been stored, resulting in a short supply. He said the market could face a serious shortage of apple if the situation continues for a week.

The market is receiving only 10 tonnes of apples a day from other countries like Newzeland and the US, according to the association. The market normally receives 100 tonnes daily on an average.

Although some traders in Biratnagar are importing apple through Kolkata, the transportation costs would be higher. “We are also planning to bring apples from Kolkata,” said Bhim Prasad Humagain, an apple wholesaler at Kuleshwor.

With the onset of summer, the demand for fruits are increasing, but shipments from various parts of the country and India have remained low. “Mango prices are on the higher side this summer due to low production in India due to unseasonable rains. Banana and papaya are also expensive in India,” said Baniya.

According to the traders, mangoes are imported from Nagpur, Madras and Andhra Pradesh of India, but as domestically produced mangoes start arriving from Siraha, Saptari, Mahottari and Dhanusha in a few days, it could lead to a price decrease.

Some traders said they were also compelled to dump fruits due to the lack of street vendors and hawkers.

“Banana, mango and water melons remained unsold as cycle boys left the valley after the earthquake,” said Baniya.

According to the association, only 200 out of around 2,000 hawkers are working.

Fruits Prices Compared (Per Kg)

Fruits    May 25    Last month

Fuji apple    Rs 300 per kg     Rs250 per kg

Redstar apple    Rs 230 per kg     Rs130 per kg

Banana    R100-Rs120 (per dozen)    Rs70-Rs90 (per dozen)

Pomegranate    Rs300 per kg     Rs250 per kg

Papaya    Rs80 per kg    Rs60 per kg

Published: 26-05-2015 07:21

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