Fruits become cheaper as supplies increase

- SUMAN BASHYAL, Kathmandu
Fruits become cheaper as supplies increase

Jun 19, 2015-

Fruit prices have fallen in the Kathmandu Valley following a rise in supplies with the price of apple, in particular, recording a sharp drop. Popular fruits such as apple, banana, mango and pomegranate have lost up to Rs100 per kg over the last two weeks.

Apple, which was being sold at Rs200 per kg wholesale, now costs Rs120. Mango, a popular summer fruit, costs Rs55-60 per kg at the Kuleshwor Wholesale Market, one of the largest fruit bazaars in the valley. Two weeks ago, mango cost Rs90 per kg. Bananas are available at Rs4 to Rs5 per piece against Rs6 to Rs7 previously. Likewise, pomegranate costs Rs200 per kg against Rs225 per kg two weeks ago.

Traders said that mango prices plunged after domestic harvests started arriving in the market. “Nepali mangoes have been pouring into the market, leading to a fall in prices,” said Amar Baniya, president of the Nepal Fruits Wholesalers Association (NFWA).

However, Indian mangoes are still dear due to a rise in prices there. “Unseasonal rains affected mango crops during the flowering period in India that affected output. So prices are higher in India,” added Baniya.

According to traders, Nepali mangoes are being shipped from Siraha, Lahan, Saptari, Mahottari and Chandrauta, Kapilvastu, among other places in the Tarai. Domestic mango production fulfils the country’s requirement for just two months a year. The fruit costs Rs90 to Rs100 per kg in the retail market.

Similarly, apples imported from China are becoming cheaper as traders have started routing their shipments through Kolkata port. The valley’s markets had faced a shortage of the fruit a few weeks ago after consignments from China became stuck at the border because the Tatopani Customs Office was closed following the April 25 earthquake.

“With the Tatopani route cut off, we started bringing apples through Kolkata. Now we have enough apples in stock so prices have fallen significantly,” said Bhim Prasad Humagain, a wholesaler at Kuleshwor. Apples cost Rs140-Rs150 per kg retail.

Traders said that bananas were being sourced domestically these days and they are comparatively cheaper than Indian products. “Most of the bananas being sold in the market are domestically produced. This has brought down prices,” said Baniya.

Supplies of other fruits have also risen in the major wholesale markets. According to the NFWA, the domestic market has been receiving 20-25 truckloads of fruits compared to 15-20 truckloads two weeks ago. A truckload contains 10-15 tonnes, depending on the type of fruit.

Published: 20-06-2015 08:22

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