With the decrees of mercury, the stores have piled up dry fruits of all kind. However, the high prices of all those nuts make them a bit hard to be enjoyed by everyone. Prices of all kinds of dry fruit have seen a sharp increase as compared to that of previous years. Apart from regular shopkeepers, dry fruit vendors have raised prices of dry fruits out of proportion.
There was some rush in the market for Christmas buying and people were mainly buying peanuts and walnuts because of their comparative low rates. With the drop of mercury the demand of dry fruits at retail stage has shown sign of increase. However, the prices of dry fruits have gone beyond the reach of the common man.
A dry fruit vendor claimed that with the fall of temperature in city demand for dry fruits had sharply increased and prices had shoot up. The prices of dry fruits including almond, pistachio, walnut, pine nut, dates, cashew nut, dried apricot, coconut, fig and peanut have increased compared to last year due to increase in cost of transportation and coast of doing business, said a vendor. A shop owner said that the sale of dry fruit is still because of surging prices coupled with a rising cost of living caused by galloping food inflation.
Dry fruits are mainly imported from Afghanistan, Iran, USA and India while substantial variety is also grown locally. Traders also attribute the rise in prices to slow growth in imports and low production in the country and costlier imports. A dry fruit vendor said that, most of the dry fruit are being imported and the weakening rupee against dollar is also the reason for the hike in the price.
Almond price ranges from Rs 1100 to Rs 1900 per kg and Chilgoza (pine nuts) as usual remained the most expensive dry fruit of this season, with prices ranging between Rs 2000-3200 per kg with shell and without shell.
Iranian almond is being sold at Rs 1400 per kg, pistachio with and without shell at Rs 1400 to 1800 per kg, walnut at Rs 500 per kg, dates at Rs 220 to 280 per kg including Saudi dates, peanuts with shell or without shell at Rs 400 per kg, Cashew salted and plain is being sold at Rs 1400 per kg while Fig at Rs 1300- Rs 1700 per kg, apricot at Rs 500 per kg and peanut Rs 300 to Rs 420 per kg in the open market.