Rahar leads rise in prices of pulses

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Rahar leads rise in prices of pulses

Jun 25, 2015-

Pulses have risen sharply in price with rahar swelling 53 percent in the past eight months. The popular lentil now costs Rs200 per kg compared to Rs130 per kg last October.

Prices of gram, pea, horse gram and soybean have also gone up by Rs25 per kg. Retailers point to wholesalers for the rise in prices while wholesalers in turn cite global trends.

Horse gram, which was selling for Rs90 per kg two months ago, now costs Rs110. Likewise, French bean which used to cost Rs110 per kg has increased to Rs120 and pea has jumped Rs30 per kg to Rs110.

Similarly, the price of soybean has increased to Rs140 per kg from Rs120 over the period. Prices of mustard oil, soybean oil and flour have already seen a rise of Rs5-20 per litre. Traders said that a weakening of the Nepali rupee against the US dollar was one of the major factors for imports becoming more expensive.

Ram Kumar Shrestha, general secretary of the Retailers Association of Nepal, said that wholesale prices had gone up. He added that most pulses had become dearer in the wholesale market.

According to traders, most of the pulses sold in Nepal are imported from India, while some like peas, gram and horse gram are sourced domestically from Birgunj, Hetauda, Makwanpur and Sindhupalchok. But local output is enough for only around two-three months of the year.

Meanwhile, with rahar becoming dearer by the month, people have been switching to masuro and mas. Traders have also being ordering smaller quantities from their wholesalers. “As prices have gone up massively over the period, consumers are also buying less,” said Yuv Raj Sharma, proprietor of Sunkoshi Kirana Store at Ratopool.

Meanwhile, wholesalers claimed that they had slashed prices slightly due to a slowdown in demand. “After the earthquake, various countries have been sending rice, pulses and oil as relief materials. So prices have dropped slightly,” said Kumud Dugar, managing director of the KL Dugar Group, one of the major wholesalers of rice, pulses and oil. According to him, sales of rice and pulses have dropped 40-50 percent compared to two months ago.

Dugar said that they had reduced the price of pulses by Rs5-6 per kg and the price of flour by Rs2 per kg. “We were compelled to hike prices of oil and pulses last month due to a rise in major international markets and a stronger dollar,” added Dugar.

Indian media reports said that retail prices of rahar, masuro and mung pulses had crossed Rs100 per kg in various cities of the country as poor rainfall affected harvests.

Published: 26-06-2015 08:06

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