Jul 23 2012
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Fruits, vegetable prices on the rise
Muscat: As the Holy Month of Ramadan enters its first week, the prices of most fruits and vegetables have been touching a high, specially in the capital city.
Wholesale traders at the Al Mawaleh fruits and vegetable market say the prices of the most of the fruits and vegetables have gone up and have become simply unaffordable to the common man.
"The wholesale price of sweet melon, which is a main item in salads prepared for breaking fast, was 300baizas per kilogram two days before. Now, it's 350baizas. It seems that the price will go up again,- a wholesale dealer who has been selling in the market since 1997, told Times of Oman.
Then traders stopped importing. This, in turn, led to shortage of melons and an increase in prices during the Holy Month of Ramadan,- the trader added. Other than sweet melons, the prices of tomatoes, pineapple and different kinds of Indian fruits have gone up as well.
"Tomatoes are imported mainly from Jordan and Syria. Nowadays, due to the internal problems in Syria, the import of tomatoes from that country has been affected,- traders added.
Grapes, another main item used in salads prepared for breaking fast, has become an unaffordable fruit in the market. "We don't know what is the reason behind the shortage of grapes. Grapes are imported from Chile and Africa.
Now, in our market, there are no grapes available at all. And so the quantity which is stocked is being sold at high price,- the traders said, while adding that the price of pineapple has gone up too.
The price of a box of six pieces of pineapple which has was available at RO5 two days ago, is now coming at RO5.300.
However, while the prices are high, the traders said the business was as usual and some of the retailers were purchasing the items from Dubai market as the prices there are a little bit lower when compared to Oman.
The recent hikes in the Indian air freight charges and disruption of flights from the Indian state of Kerala have also pushed up the prices of fruits and vegetables imported from India.
The steep increase of 60 per cent in the air freight charges during the last few months has increased the woes of traders.
"Officials from the price control authority have visited the market recently and have urged us not to increase the prices, but we are helpless,- the traders said.
© Times of Oman 2012
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