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Posted On: 9 July 2013 12:29 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:13 pm

Fall in imports is pushing up vegetables prices, say traders

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The prices of some vegetables have gone up in Qatar and other regional markets in recent weeks. Sources in the retail business attribute this to various factors, including a drop in imports caused by increased consumption in some of the countries that supply vegetables along with a fall in the production there. The sources point out that the prices of vegetables, including those procured from the crucial South Asian markets, have increased by 20-30%. Traders fear the prices will go up further in the coming months due to the fall in production in some of these countries. For instance, small onions coming from India have become dearer over the past fortnight. An importer said the increased consumption in India has resulted in a shortage in the regional market in recent times. Though some quantities of the small onion are arriving from Iran, not enough is available in the local market, it is understood. Raw bananas imported from states in southern India are being sold at prices that are at least 20% higher than what they were a few weeks ago. According to industry insiders, the fruit may become even more expensive in the coming days due to the fall in imports in recent weeks. The price of green chilli procured from India has also shot up. According to an importer, most retail shops are selling it for QR10 or above per kilo. He claims that “inadequate” storage facilities are causing damage to vegetables in this heat. “As a result, large quantities of imports perish and importers are forced to supply them at higher prices,” he said. While the prices of mangoes have remained somewhat steady compared to the previous year, most other fruits from across the world have become dearer in the local markets. For example, bananas from the Philippines have become costlier by about 20% as compared to the corresponding period last year, said an importer, adding that there has been a steep growth in the demand for the fruit in recent years. Some hypermarkets are selling select vegetables at lower prices than small groceries, but the quantities available for such promotions are limited, says an importer. MBT issues list of 320 items to cost less this Ramadan The Consumer Protection Department in the Ministry of Business and Trade has released a list of 320 commodities, including edible and non-edible items, that will be sold at reduced prices during Ramadan in Qatar. For the past several years, the government has been taking steps to keep prices of goods under check and prevent traders and shopkeepers from inflating prices, particularly during Ramadan when there is an increased demand for food items. All outlets in Qatar, including neighbourhood groceries, are bound to sell the items included on the list at the specified rates. Citizens are also provided with subsidised Arabic sheep during the Holy Month of fasting. Below is a list of selected edible and non-edible items that will be sold at reduced prices during Ramadan in Qatar.