Vegetable prices down as demand remains low

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Oct 31, 2015-

Vegetable prices have decreased in the Kathmandu valley due to low demand amid stable supply.

Onion, potato, French bean, pumpkin, squash, big tomato and cabbage have become cheaper by up to 44 percent in the retail and wholesale markets.

Onion that cost Rs135-Rs150 per kg in the retail market a month ago now costs Rs70-Rs80. French bean price has decreased to Rs45-Rs50 per kg from Rs65-Rs70 in Gausala and Ratopul area.

Big tomato is retailing at Rs40 per kg, against Rs60 a month ago, while cabbage has plunged to Rs40 per kg from Rs60. Pumpkin price dropped to Rs25-Rs30 per kg from Rs40-Rs50, while squash now costs Rs30-Rs40 per kg, down from Rs50-Rs60.

“The demand for vegetables has slowed as many hotels, restaurants and canteens have remained closed,” said Bharat Khatiwada, president of Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Wholesalers’ Association.

Household consumers were also purchasing less due to the shortage of cooking gas, Khatiwada said, adding the sales have dropped by 20-30 percent.

Dipendra Shrestha, a wholesaler of potato and onion, said the demand has dropped by 20-30 percent from commercial sectors like hotels, restaurants and canteen.

He said the arrival of Chinese onion also helped bring down the onion price. “Although the prices are still higher compared to last year due to low production this year in India, onion has become cheaper compared to last month,” he said.

The Indian media have reported the average wholesale onion price was hovering around IRs30 per kg which had reached IRs60 per kg a month ago. Almost all of Nepal’s onion demand is fulfilled by Indian imports.

Shrestha said new potatoes that started arriving from various parts of the country contributed the drop in the vegetable’s price.

The supply has remained normal in wholesale markets, officials of the major wholesale markets of Kathmandu said.

According to Ramesh Dangol, senior officer of Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market Development Board, 600 tonnes of vegetables and fruits have been arriving in the market on an average daily.

Balkhu Agriculture, Fruits and Vegetables Market stated the supply from areas surrounding Kathmandu stood at 500 tonnes daily on an average.

Published: 31-10-2015 08:47

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