Marked increase in prices of commodities in October

Post Source: DailyTimes – November 1, 2009 – By Tanveer Sher

KARACHI: Inflationary pressure continue taking its toll on poor segment of the population with a sharp decline registered in their purchasing powers with every passing day. The reason being that there is once again let up in the high prices of majority of essential kitchen items which continue to be on the higher side during the month of October.

In addition to higher commodity prices, consumers were also hit hard during the month of October by the non-availability of sugar in the retail and wholesale markets. If at all the commodity is available at any of the outlet, the consumer are compelled to pay no less than Rs 50 per to Rs 60 per kg against the officially fixed rates of Rs 40 per kg for the commodity.

Wheat prices during the month of October was found to be increasing as it is currently available at Rs 2620 per 100 kg bag compared to old prices of Rs 2550 to Rs 2580 per 100 kg bag. The increase was attributed by the wholesalers and dealers of the commodity on account of upsurge in the demand of the commodity during the last one month. Price of majority of ghee and cooking oil was found to be moving slightly up during the last one month owing to increased price of palm oil in the international market. The items which recorded increase in their average prices during October included, packed milk, tea, eggs, beaf, mutton, cooking oil, potato, wheat and some pulses. The item with decline in their rates registered during the month of October included Dal Masur.

The items with no change in their average prices included some pulses and rice, tomato, Chicken meat, chakki flour and fine atta. During the month of October, chicken meat rates continued to hover between Rs 230 per kg to Rs 240 per kg. The continued high rate was attributed by the farmers on account of low production and higher demand of the commodity owing to ongoing marriage season which has resulted in its high demand. Similarly, rates of live chicken bird continue to remain unchanged at Rs 140 to Rs 142 per kg.

Egg prices have increased sharply during the last month as currently it is available at Rs 78 to Rs 80 per dozen compared to previous months rate of Rs 65 per dozen indicating its sky rocketing rates. The aforesaid increase in wheat rates had little impact on prices of all kinds of flour which continued to be sold at old rates. The ex-mill price of flour during the last one month continue to hover around Rs 30 to Rs 31 while chakki flour was sold at around Rs 34 to 35 per kg. Similarly, fine atta is available at Rs 33 to Rs 34 per kg at retail outlets.

Prices of quality colonel rice and other varieties remained unchanged in the wholesale and retail markets of the city spelling relief for its consumers. Price of quality Col. Rice ranges from Rs 80 per kg to Rs 100 per kg. Dal Masur prices during the last month declined to Rs 100 per kg compared to old rates of Rs 116 per kg.

Price of Dal Moong (Sabit) surged during the month of October to the level of Rs 75 to Rs 80 per kg compared to previous rates of Rs 65. The retailers reasoned the increase as the result of owing to large scale smuggling of the commodity despite ban placed by the government. Black peas (Kala channa) price also remained unchanged it is currently available at Rs 50 to Rs 52 in the retail markets while the rates of quality white pea (Kabli Channa) also unaffected in retail markets as it is currently sold at Rs 100. Dal Mash rates during the last month also went up to the level of Rs 110 per kg which is higher compared to old rates of Rs 95 to Rs 100 per kg. Retail price of basen, a bye product of Dal Channa, also continue to be hovering around at the level of Rs 58 to R. 60 per kg during October. Importers have attributed high pulses prices on account of upsurge in their rates in international market.

Dry milk prices also surged in the retail and wholesale markets of Karachi which was attributed by importers on account of increased rates in the international markets. The retail price of sugar, one of the most demanding commodities nowadays has reached unprecedented level of Rs 65 to Rs 70 per kg in the retail markets. The official rates fixed by the government in the wake of directives of Supreme Court of Pakistan stand around Rs 38 to Rs 40 per kg, but at this rate the commodity is un-available to buyers in the city retail markets. The commodity is although available at outlets of Utility Stores Corporation of Pakistan (USC) at Rs 38 per kg but the prolong wait and the agony of standing in long queues has deterred scores of aspirants from buying the commodity at subsidized rates

Vegetables: Price of fine quality onion in the in the wholesale markets has declined to the level of Rs 18 to Rs 20 per kg during the month of October compared to previous months rate of Rs 23 to Rs 25 per kg. Wholesalers and farmers stated that this decline owed to bumper crop in Sindh which not only helped stabilize its rates but also helped reviving export process which had come to a halt for the last many months causing colossal to the national exchequer. Price of potato, another vital commodity of every kitchen also surged during last month as it is currently available at Rs 20 to Rs 22 per kg compared to previous month rates of Rs 19 to Rs 20 per kg at retail outlets. Retail price of garlic, a vital food ingredient, continue to be sold in the retail markets at Rs 150 to Rs 160 per kg. Price of ginger, another vital food ingredient, during the month of September was available in retail markets at Rs 140 to Rs 150 per kg.

Retail price of tomato stand in the range of Rs 25 to Rs 30 per kg indicating unchanged rates of the commodity.

Fruits: Price of all fruits during the month of October continues to be on the high side. Price of Banana, regarded as one of the fruits of all season is available in the range of Rs 20 to Rs 40 per dozen depending on its size.

Price of all kind of Apple continue to be high side as it is currently available in the range of Rs 40 to Rs 50 kg which is apparently beyond the purchasing ability of large segment of the population which is finding it difficult to make both ends meet.

Tea: Prices of tea has surged sharply during September-October as rates of all branded and open tea was jacked up by the importers and traders to Rs 40 to Rs 50 per kg. One kg of branded tea including Lipton and tapal are now available at around Rs 430 to Rs 450 per kg.

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