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Retail prices at Mawalah market shoot up

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With the holy month of Ramadhan just round the corner the prices of fruits and vegetables at Al Mawalah Central Market began to shoot up.

Traders confirmed that the upward movement of prices is partly attributed to an increased demand for vegetables and fruits in the country of origin but also because large amounts get spoiled due to summer heat prompting trader to hike the prices in order to avoid loss.

Consumers cited concerns over high prices of fruits and vegetables during the month of Ramadhan and expressed their fear that some traders might exploit the increasing demand for fruits and vegetables and significantly hike the prices.

Suppliers and importers showed their readiness to provide sufficient quantities for fruits and vegetables during the month of Ramadhan from the exporting countries in Africa, Asian and the Levant.

Oman products such as water melon, mangoes, dates and sweet melon are presence at the market and are sold at reasonable prices. Mohammed al Saadani, an Egyptian trader insists that the prices have not gone up so far. “Our plan during Ramadhan is to increase the supply to meet the demand and avoid price hike. I import fruits and vegetables from Egypt, Lebanon and Syria.”

Al Saadani sell a carton of Egyptian navel oranges for RO 2, cherry for RO 2 and Saudi Apricots is priced at RO 2.5. Riyadh, a Pakistani trader presented a more realist view expecting price rises during Ramadhan due to high demand and extreme heat. Some consumers say the central market provides all types of fruits and vegetables and the prices vary depending on the quality but they seemed to be worried about price hikes in Ramadan as was the case in the previous years.

Ahmed bin Saif al Rawahi, consumer, said there is no notable increase in the prices so far but he expects them to go up with the advent of Ramadhan calling on the authorities to intensify oversight as the demand will increase prompting traders to hike prices.

On Tuesday, a 6-kg water melon was sold for RO 1.0, sweet melon (4 kg) RO 1.0, 1 kg of Omani mangoes is priced at RO 0.700, 1 kg of fresh dates was sold for RO 1.8. As for vegetables, 1 kg of cucumber, cabbage or eggplant cost RO 0.300. Lettuce and lemon was sold for RO 0.400.

Source: OmanObserver