Adequate supplies keep prices of dried fruits stableFestive shoppers have been thronging the market to buy dried fruits and other items in preparation for Tihar, the festival of lights, which begins on Friday.
Festive shoppers have been thronging the market to buy dried fruits and other items in preparation for Tihar, the festival of lights, which begins on Friday.
While prices of some dried fruits have jumped this year, prices of other festival products have not changed much from last year.
Cashew nut, pistachio, date, fig, small cardamom and coconut have become dearer by Rs25 to Rs200 per kg in the Kathmandu Valley, retailers said. Cashew nut costs Rs1,500 per kg compared to Rs1,400 last year. Similarly, pistachio costs Rs1,400 per kg, up Rs125; and fig costs Rs1,250 per kg, up Rs150. The price of small cardamom has risen by Rs200 to Rs2,000 per kg.
Prices of date, apricot and large cardamom have risen marginally while prices of walnut, almond, fox nut and raisin have not changed.
Biki Rauniyar, proprietor of Biki Store in Makhan, one of the main retail markets in the Valley, said an adequate supply had helped to keep prices of most products stable this year.
“As the production of cashew nuts has dropped in India, prices have surged,” said Rauniyar, adding that demand for almond, pistachio and cashew nut had surged.
Ramesh Kumar Gupta, a retailer at Makhan, said supplies of most sought-after dried fruits had been normal this year. “However, prices are up 20-40 percent from last month,” he said.
Demand for dried fruits increases mainly during Tihar. These products are given as gifts by sisters to their brothers. Devotees also offer them to Laxmi, the goddess of wealth, who has a day dedicated to her during the festival.
According to traders, most dried fruits sold in the Valley are imported from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Indonesia, US, Brazil and the Middle East.
Pavitra Bajracharya, president of the Nepal Retailers’ Association, said consumption of dried fruits had been rising on other occasions too.