KATHMANDU, Aug 4: Prices of popular fruits have gone up by Rs 5 to Rs 30 per kg in the wholesale market compared to the past week because of the decrease in supply.
The demand for fruits generally rises in the months starting from mid-July because of religious festivities, but the supply this time around has remained low due to reduced imports from neighboring countries, traders said.
Price data issued by Nepal Fruits Wholesaler Association (NFWA) at Kuleshwor shows fruits like apples, mango, sweet orange, sugarcane, Chinese pears and banana have become costlier by as much as Rs 30 per kg in the Valley. However, prices of fruits like papaya and watermelon has remained constant over the past one week.
Officials of NFWA said the Kuleshwor market was receiving around 90 tons of fruits per day till last week, but the daily supply has dropped to around 50 tons of late. This decrease in supply has caused the prices to go up.
On Saturday, apples were priced at Rs 150 per kg, up from last week´s Rs 135 per kg. Price of Chinese apples too has increased from last week´s Rs 150 to Rs 180 per kg. Prices of small and big sweet oranges too have increased by Rs 10 per kg each to Rs 82 and Rs 90 per kg respectively.
Price of mango has increased by Rs 7 per kg to Rs 82 per kg, while Chinese pears are now available at Rs 150 per kg compared to Rs 130 per kg of last week.
Similarly, pomegranate has increased by Rs 20 per kg and is selling at Rs 270 per kg whereas pineapple costs Rs 77 per piece, which was available at Rs 70 per piece. A dozen bananas cost Rs 47, an increase from Rs 40 a week ago.
Arjun Prasad, a wholesaler at Kuleshwar market, said prices of major fruits have increased in the wholesale market because our country depends on neighboring countries to meet its demands and even little fluctuations in the international market directly impact the prices in the local market.
He further added that currently Kuleshwar market alone receives around 75 percent fruits imported from neighboring countries.
“In the wholesale market, prices have increased by around 15 percent, but retailers charge much higher prices. Sadly, the market monitoring authority turns blind eye to such unfair practices,” said Prasad.