LAHORE, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 18th Jan, 2017 ) : With consistent cold weather, the prices of dry fruits including almond, cashew nuts and pistachio are spiraling in the provincial capital. This year, varieties of almonds (American, Qandhari or local) without shell (geree) are being sold between Rs 1200 to 1600 per kg, pistachios Rs 1400 to 1800 per kg and Rs 2000 to 2500 per kg, respectively, walnuts Rs 450 to 900 per kg and Rs 2600 to 3100 per kg, cashew nuts (salted) Rs 1600 to 2300 per kg, raisin (Kishmish) Rs 550 to 600 per kg while pine nuts (Chilgoza) were observed to be selling for anywhere between Rs 2400 to 2850 per kg, Dates at Rs 250 to Rs 600 per kg while peanuts, the most sought after item of winter, is available at push carts at Rs 200 to 300 per kg.
A random survey carried out by this scribe of various city markets revealed that compared to last year rates, cost of 1 kg almonds has gone up by Rs 300, pistachio by Rs 250 and cashew by around Rs 300. A big dried fruits retail outlet owner at Chouburji Chowk said people buy dried fruits mostly in the winter season which increases their demand. Giving reason for high dried fruits rates, he said, they bought the fruits at high rates from wholesalers.
Besides, they had to spend extra on importing dried fruits from Afghanistan, India, Iran, China and Vietnam. He said that wholesalers stored the dried fruits, which caused the shortage of commodities in the market and thereby leads to increase in prices. On contact dealers of Akbari Mandi said, the wholesale market of the provincial capital, observed the raise in prices is due to heavy transport charges as well as export of dry fruits. It is pertinent to mention that every market and super store has its own rate for dried fruits in various localities.
The same item with same quality was being sold with a difference of Rs 200-Rs 800 per kg in different stores in the same city. On the other hand, consumers complained that prices of dried fruits this year were high and becoming out of their reach. They urged the authorities concerned to take action against exorbitant rates of dried fruits dealers. Despite high prices, wholesalers and retailers said dried fruits demands remained brisk across the provincial metropolis saying they did a roaring business this season.