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No respite for consumers as Iranian tomato costs Rs160-240 a kilo

By Aamir Shafaat Khan 2021-11-10
KARACHI: Arrival of Iranian tomatoes in the local market has yet to provide any relief to consumers as its price has been hovering between Rs160 and Rs240 per kilograms for the past two weeks.

The consumers under some compulsions are accepting Iranian tomatoes, which lacl( taste and quality compared to Pakistani tomatoes.

Because of high prices, people are seen refraining from buying tomato in bulk and preferring to buy it as per their daily requirements.

President of the Falahi Anjuman Wholesale Vegetable Market, New Sabzi Mandi, Shahjehan, said the Iranian product has been meeting demand and narrowing the gap in supply caused by the end of Balochistan crop.

He said the trading of the fruit from theSindhcropwouldgetinfullswingbyDecember.

Although little quantities from some areas in Sindh had started arriving in the market but they are not enough to meet the demand.

As a result, Iranian tomato may keep coming in the market during the current month.

The wholesale rate of Iranian tomatoes has been ranging between Rs140 and Rs150 per kg while retailers are free to charge prices on their own as there is no check by the authorities.

According to the Sensitive Price Indicator for the week ending on Nov 4, the rate of tomato in Karachi was Rs160-200 per 1(g. It was Rs5080 per kg on Oct 7.

Mr Shahjehan said rising transportation cost in view of persistent increase in diesel, CNG and LPG rates had put extra pressure on the prices.

Onion price falls However, onion price has dropped by Rs20 per kg in one month after arrival of new Sindh crop in the market.

Retail onion price has dropped to Rs40-50 from Rs60-70 per kg last month, according to the retailers.Patron-in-Chief of the All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association Waheed Ahmed said despite a bumper onion crop this year, export target is unlikely to be met due to barriers like high export value of $400 per tonne set by the government and exorbitantly high freight charges by the shipping companies.

He urged the government to reduce the export value to $300 per tonne `in accordance with ground realities`. Acute shortage of reefer containers and exorbitant high freight charges set by the shipping companies are most likely to jeopardise the strong desire of the association to enhance export of onion by taking advantage of the current bumper crop.

Mr Ahmed said he was ready to assure the government that if the country experiences onion shortage, his association would suspend export to stabiliseits prices.

Currently 150-175 trucks of onion are arriving in the wholesale market of Karachi daily and the number will increase in the coming days leading to further drop in prices, he said.

He said stoppage in onion exports would affect the growers who would be unable to recover the cost of harvesting and possibly switch over to other crops.1 r e nite star Tuesday Saddar on a sta tomatoes from A WOMAN iS