Fruits, both imported and locally-produced, are pinching consumers’ pockets harder in Dhaka with their prices rising by up to 100 percent since the beginning of Ramadan on May 6.
Imported fruits, including apple, grape, malta, pear, date and pomegranate, are consumed in urban areas and the demand for these fruits gets high during the month of fasting for Muslims.
“I have bought malta at Tk 130 a kilogramme just before Ramadan but now it is Tk 200 a kg at the same shop,” said Rumana Islam, a homemaker in the capital’s Mogbazar area.
Apple, another widely consumed imported fruit, is being sold at Tk 220 to Tk 300 a kg depending on the type and quality.
Golden Delicious, a yellowish-green skinned cultivar apple, is being sold at Tk 220 to Tk 240 a kg whereas it is Tk 300 a kg for Japanese Fuji apple, up from Tk 180 to Tk 200 just before Ramadan.
Small-sized pineapples, which are being produced locally, are being sold at Tk 40, up from Tk 25 a piece a week ago. Similarly, another popular fruit local banana is being sold at Tk 10 per piece.
Md Mohsin Mia, who sells fruits at Hatirpool area, said his costing price for apples just a day before Ramadan was over Tk 170 per kg.
“Taking the transportation cost into account I have to sell the apples at a minimum of Tk 200 a kg, otherwise I will not survive,” said Mia.
Serajul Islam, general secretary of Bangladesh Fresh Fruits Importers Association, said prices of fruits shot up because of a disruption in the supply chain due to cyclone Fani.
“Ships loaded with fruits had to wait an additional three to four days for unloading, which had pushed our costs and affected supply of the items in the market,” Islam told The Daily Star yesterday.
He, however, hoped that the prices of fruits would come down in a few days for a rise in supply. For example, he said, an 18-kg packet of apples was sold at Tk 3,600 in the wholesale market last week, but now the price has come down to Tk 3,000.