With arrival of winter, the prices of dry fruits have touched a new peak in wholesale and retail markets, as all items of these fruits except pine nut (Chilgoza) registered a 30 percent increase. It was revealed in the survey conducted by Business Recorder, according to which the prices of all items of these fruits registered a phenomenal increase except pine nut (Chilgoza) with slight decline in rate due to high production.
According to wholesalers in the open market, dry fruits have attributed to low production and imports of most of dry fruits from other countries are the basic reason behind the increasing prices. Dry fruits include dates, apricot, peaches, almond, currants, pine nut, peanuts, pistachios and many more. Almond and peanut are the most favourite and their demand is higher than others. Most of these fruits are grown in mountainous and hilly areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Balochistan and Fata.
However, with the increasing demand, dealers and shopkeepers have also raised the prices of dry fruits manifold and their buying has become only a desire for the common man. The poor cannot afford most of dry fruits because their prices are beyond their reach, but peanuts are the most popular item among them as their rates are comparatively low and affordable.
According to survey, the peanut is only being available at a reasonable rate of Rs 140 per kilogram. It was also revealed that the prices of pine nut have also declined from Rs 2,200 per kg to Rs 1,600 per kg, while peanuts’ rates have gone up with 30 percent increase, which is being sold at Rs 180 per kg. Good quality shell almonds are being sold at Rs 800-900 per kg and almonds without shell between Rs 1,200 and Rs 1,600 per kg. The price of walnut has been raised to Rs 300 per kg against last year’s Rs 250 per kg whereas walnut meat is being sold at Rs 600-Rs 800 per kg.
The black gram has available at Rs 160 per kg against Rs 120 per kg, while apricot Rs 190 per kg from Rs 150, and other almonds available at Rs 400 from Rs 300 respectively. The buyers demanded of the City District Administration to fix the rates of dry fruits, which are available at multiple prices on the open market. With the advent of winter season, the vendors charged buyers with huge prices in absence of pricing mechanism, they said.