January 31, 2013
N H ZUBERI
Dry fruit sales remained sluggish during the current winter on the back of high prices, which propelled it beyond the reach of the common men. The prices of dry fruits had seen a continuous rise, said a customer. Prices of all dry fruits remained high in the wholesale markets, dealers said.
The decline in the value of local currency against various foreign currencies was cited as the main reason behind the price increase. A hike in transportation charges was also a factor in the price hike. Dry fruits are mainly imported from Afghanistan, Iran and India while a substantial quantity is also grown locally. Traders also attributed the rise in prices to slow growth in imports and a decline in domestic production and costlier imports.
The number of customers, already overburdened by an unprecedented price hike, declined by more than 30 to 40 percent against figure for last year. They said prices of cashew nuts, raisins and almonds have increased by significantly over the period of a month. Similarly, prices of pistachio, figs and coconut and others surged by Rs 90 to Rs 130 per kg.
Almond price was Rs 850 per kg just a few days ago, but now it is being sold at Rs 950 per kg and Chilgozas (pine nuts) as usual remained the most expensive dry fruit this season, with price ranging between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,200 per kg peeled and unpeeled, respectively.
Iranian almonds are being sold at Rs 1400 per kg and salted almonds were priced at Rs 960 per kg while almonds (unpeeled) were valued at Rs 800 per kg, pistachio (peeled and unpeeled) at Rs 1,400 and Rs 1800 per kg, respectively, walnuts at Rs 500 per kg, dates at Rs 120 to 180 per kg, Peanuts at Rs 400 per kg, cashew salted and unsalted was sold at Rs 1,400 per kg while dried Fig at Rs 1,000 per kg, dried apricots were being sold at Rs 500 per kg and peanuts were priced Rs 200 to Rs 320 per kg in the open market.