Fish demand, price increase by 15 percent

Fish demand, price increase by 15 percent
Fish demand, price increase by 15 percent

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Salman Siddiqui

KARACHI: The price of fish has started rising with the start of winter season, as it remained in high demand during the season, sources said.

“The price of fish (of various breeds) has gone up by 10 percent to 15 percent in the retail market during the last two weeks. The increased demand of the livestock has caused price hike,” a vendor in Karachi fish market said.

He said that he does not maintain records of increase in sales but the number of buyers to his shop has increased by around 10 percent to 15 percent during the previous two weeks.

Price of black pomfret (big size) has increased by Rs50 per kilogram to Rs450 per kilogram in the last one to two weeks; price of mackerel (surmai) fish (big size) has surged by Rs40 to Rs260 and the small size by Rs30 per kilogram to Rs200 per kilogram.

The prices of other fish in retail markets have increased by Rs30 to Rs50 per kilogram to Rs400 to Rs450 per kilogram, he said.

“The price is expected to further increase during winter season,” he said, adding that the price of fish fluctuates either side in connection with the change in temperature.

An official of the Fishermen Cooperative Society said that there are three major reasons of increase in price of fish.

The demand of the livestock remained on the higher side, the fish catch was low and the cost of fishing has gone up in recent months.

He said that the last two reasons were co-related. The increase in the cost of fishing has forced some of the fishermen not to go in the sea for fishing.

“The cost of one trip to sea varies between Rs1 million to Rs2 million,” he said, adding that the increase in price of diesel, and kitchen items is continuously causing increase in the cost of fishing.

He said a launch, carrying 20 to 25 crew members and fishermen, remains in open sea for catch of fish for around 10 to 20 days. And low catch of fish sometimes force fishermen to incur loss, as well.

However, August and September is the peak time of fishing in Pakistan, while the government of Sindh had also not banned fishing in June and July, which it used to do every year due to gusty winds and harsh weather in open sea.

The catch of fish throughout the year might have contributed increase in the catch this year and benefit the country more in exports, he said, adding that fish is one of the major items in total exports of agriculture sector of Pakistan.

The Economic Survey of Pakistan of July 2012 to June 2013 revealed that “Fisheries share in GDP (gross domestic product) although is very little but it adds substantially to the national income through export earnings.”

According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, Pakistan has exported 36,273 tons of fish during July and September, which was 47.14 percent higher than 27,174 tons during the same months of the last fiscal year (2012).

The exports have earned $85.20 million (Rs8.81 billion) against $63.42 million (Rs5.99 billion), showing an increase of 34.34 percent in dollar terms and 47.14 percent in rupee terms.

The survey also showed that during July 2012 to March 2013, total fish production was estimated at 728,815 tons against 724,838 tons estimated production during July 2011 to March 2012.

Courtesy The NEWS

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