Prices of several popular brands of basmati rice have fallen over the past one month after they had touched record highs. Prices of cooking oil are also expected to dip very soon, say retailers.
Non-basmati rice imported from Thailand has also seen a significant drop in prices. However, popular brands of non-basmati rice from India are out of stock as a fallout of the export ban imposed by the country. Those brands still available in the market have been sold at exorbitant prices.
Retailers say that prices of all major basmati brands from Pakistan have fallen by around 20 percent. Popular Indian brands are yet to see a similar decline. The local market had witnessed a 100 percent rise in rice prices in recent months.
A 5kg bag of Punjab Garden, one of the fast moving brands of rice from Pakistan, which was being sold for QR41.75 a month ago, is now available at QR37.50 in hypermarkets and major supermarkets. The same was available for QR30 before the prices shot up to QR50 about five months ago. An extra 2kg is now available free with the 5kg bag as a promotional offer.
The same quantity of Mehran, a more expensive brand, is now priced QR54.60. It was being sold for QR71.50 a month ago. The price of a 5kg bag of White Gold has fallen from QR46.50 to QR40.50 over the same period.
Prices of non-basmati rice imported from Thailand have also dropped significantly. For instance, a 20kg bag of US Style par boiled rice, which was being sold for QR97.20 a month ago, is now available for QR82.
Limited stocks of Indian non-basmati rice are still available in the market. They have been brought through unknown channels and sold at prices almost similar to those of some popular basmati brands. There are unconfirmed reports that two Indian companies have been granted permission to export non-basmati rice
to the Gulf.
The Peninsula has learnt that suppliers of major cooking oil brands have decided to reduce their prices. The decision would be enforced as soon as the existing stocks in the market have run out