The disparity in demand and supply has led to a 30 per cent increase in prices this week.
When the import was suspended, teh prices immediately went up by 15 per cent. The prices went down last week, only to icrease by 30 per cent this week.
“The prices could be controlled only if there there is regular supply of products. Since the imports have reduced, the demand has increased and so have the prices. Earlier, figs were sold for Rs 500 to 700 per kg, whereas now it has increased to Rs 1,400. The pricesare expected to stay in the peak at least till November,” said Rajesh J, proprietor of Royal Chennai Nuts in Parry’s.
The lockdown had already affected the supply and there was a susequent increase in the prices. THe majot importer of almonds is California and the stock usually comes by June or July. It got delayed this year and it’s expected in the second week of October.
“The sale of dry fruits and nuts has been dull throughout the year. Usually, the prices increase around Deepavali but thi syear has been different. We are afraid it would affect the business,” Rajesh said.
Traders said, though the import to India has been suspended, Afghanistan has been exporting its produce to other countries. So, instead of getting it directly from Afghanistan, traders will be receiving stock from other countries, which will increase shipping price.
“Almost 50 to 60 per cent of dry fruits are usually exported from Afghanistan,” Saiprasad R, a wholesale dealer in Koyambedu foodgrains market, said.
Traders say it will be difficult if the situation continues and they are thinking of taking their operations online.