ISLAMABAD: The price of dry fruit has been increased in the federal capital despite cut in the patroleum prices recently.
“After so much reduction in petroleum prices in November, the cost of dry fruit as well as of other consumer products should compel companies and traders to reconsider prices of consumer products,” said Kamran Abbasi Aslam, a trader at Aabpara market.
He told APP that prices of dry fruit will likely see a dive in December, which would bring relief to the general public. Kamran added that customers now demand for reduction in prices after the third consecutive slash in petroleum products, which might pressurize dry fruit traders to actually bring them down.
Meanwhile prices of majority of vegetables, fruits, pulses and other edible items did not show any significant flux in this regard.
A dry fruit seller in Melody Market said that the sale of almond, pistachio, groundnuts, peanuts, cashew nuts, pine nuts and dates has significantly increased during the current week.
However, visitors in Mrkaz G-9 (Karachi Company) said that people belonging to middle class cannot buy the dry fruit due to high prices. They said that majority of the population of the city are working round the clock just to meet the both ends and could afford to buy the dry fruit.
A senior citizen Malik Asghar told APP at I-10 Markaz that dried fruit prices are higher than last year. It is now a commodity beyond the reach of the common man.
Shopkeepers engaged in the business of dried fruit are worried over the alarming rise in prices; their profits have shrunk as the number of customers has dwindled.
He said that all main dried fruit markets in the capital are witnessing an unprecedented ramping up in prices despite cut in the oil and petroleum products.
“Now we cannot even enjoy the winter season properly, I never imagined in my widest dreams, that pine nuts would be valued Rs. 2500 per kilogram”, said Asad Ali while haggling with a shopkeeper.
“It seems like dried fruits is now meant for the elite of society only”, said Raheela, searching to stock up on dried fruit during the winter.
On the other hand, sellers are anxious over the depressing demand situation. They have attached the situation in the market to costs rising in the aftermath of devastating floods and petrol price hike.
Sellers blamed the acute rise in dried fruit prices mainly on the flood, saying that crops were washed away by flood water which served as a catalyst in the rise in the prices. “The spike in petrol prices is also a big factor involved in the price elevation”, claimed Gul Zaman, a shopkeeper in Super Market.
“Last year, almonds were priced at Rs. 600 per kilogram in the peak season, but this year the price is Rs. 950-1000 in the initial stage of the season and is forecast to rise at the onset of peak season this year”, said Ghulam Ali , a seller in Jinnah Super Market.