Prices of dried fruits rise on strong dollar

- KRISHANA PRASAIN, Kathmandu

Oct 31, 2018-

Prices of dried fruits have increased sharply in the domestic market due to the appreciation of the US dollar against the Nepali rupee, said traders. Nepal does not produce dried fruits and imports all its supply, with some products coming from as far afield as Brazil. Dried fruits are essential items for the Tihar and Chhath festivals which begin next week.

The retail price of fig, pistachio, almond and dried coconut has increased by Rs140 to Rs650 per kg this Tihar, according to retailers. The price of fig has swelled by Rs650 per kg to Rs2,000 this year. Pistachio now costs Rs1,700 per kg, up Rs300 per kg. Almond has become dearer by Rs250 per kg and costs Rs1,400 per kg.

The price of dried coconut has reached Rs500 per kg from Rs360 last year. Fox nut costs Rs1,000 per kg, an increase of Rs300 compared to last year. Prices of apricot and walnut remain unchanged at Rs1,500 per kg and Rs700 per kg respectively. Cashew has gone down to Rs1,600 per kg from Rs1,700 per kg previously.

Festive shoppers have started thronging the market to buy dried fruits in preparation for Tihar, the festival of lights, which begins on November 6. “It is hard to get even two types of dried fruits for Rs1,000,” said Jayanti Basnet, a customer at Makhan Galli, New Road.

Customers said that prices of pistachio, almond and coconut had increased within a month. The retail price of pistachio which was Rs1,600 per kg before Dashain has now reached Rs1,700 per kg. The price of almond has gone up to Rs1,400 per kg from Rs1,250; and the price of dried coconut, which was Rs450 before Dashain, has increased to Rs500 per kg, according to customers.

Dried fruits are given as gifts by sisters to their brothers. Demand for dried fruits increases by more than 50 percent during Tihar, said traders.

The Nepal Retailers Association estimated that more than 80 percent of the dried fruits are consumed during Tihar. They are imported from Brazil, the Middle East, Afghanistan, India, China, Pakistan, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

PRICES COMPARED

Dried Fruits     (price rs/kg)

Items        2017    2018

Fig        1,350    2,000

Cardamom    1,900    2,000

Pistachio    1,400    1,700

Cashew        1,700    1,600

Apricot        1,500    1,500

Almond        1,150    1,400

Fox Nut        700    1,000

Walnut        700    700

Raisin        500    600

Dried Coconut    360    500

Date        150    200

(Source: Retail market)

Published: 31-10-2018 07:35

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