KATHMANDU, Nov 7: Prices of dry fruits have gone up by as much as Rs 100 per kg compared to a month ago due to sudden rise in demand. The demand for dry fruits increases manifold during Tihar which falls next week.
Traders also attribute the rise in prices to slow growth in imports. “Only about 10 importers are supplying dry fruits. They have not upped supplies despite significant rise in demand,” Prayag Tuladhar of Bhawani Stores at Makhan said. “This demand-supply mismatch has made dry fruits dearer by about 33 percent.”
The rise in prices, however, has not affected sales, as dry fruits are considered ´must have´ items during Tihar.
Owing to short supply, wholesalers said prices of cashew nut, raisin, almond and cinnamon have increased by Rs 50 per kg over the period of a month. Similarly, pistachio, cloves, cardamom, figs and coconut among others have become expensive by Rs 60 to Rs 100 per kg.
According to wholesalers, price of cashew nut has increased to Rs 950 per kg, up from last month´s Rs 900 per kg. Pistachio nuts have become dearer by Rs 100 per kg and are selling at Rs 1,200 per kg, while prices of almond, small betel nuts and big betel nuts have increased by Rs 50 per kg each and are being sold at Rs 850, Rs 150 and Rs 200 per kg, respectively.
Raisins, walnuts and cloves are selling at Rs 300, Rs 400 and Rs 1,200 per kg respectively, up by Rs 100 per kg each. Price of dates has increased by Rs 30 per kg making it Rs 120 per kg, while cardamom has become dearer by Rs 100 per kg and is selling at Rs 1,600 per kg.
Traders say demand for dry fruits increase twofold during Tihar compared to normal days.
To make it easier for customers, traders have made attractive souvenirs of assorted dry fruits. “We have prepared attractive baskets full of dry fruits and chocolates. Women can gift these baskets as souvenirs to their brothers on the day of Bhai Tika,” said K K Pradhan, proprietor of Puspa Prasad Pardhan Store at Makhan.
These baskets are priced in range of Rs 100 to Rs 1,000, according to Pradhan.