With the city readying itself for Ramzan, fruit traders at Vashi APMC market are anticipating prices of several fruits to go up soon. Rates of fruits like watermelon, papaya and pineapple are expected to rise, in keeping with the high demand for them in the holy month.
Fruits with high water content like watermelon are in high demand in the month of Ramzan. File pic
According to traders at the market, those fasting in this month prefer fruits that have high water content. Vijay Bende, a representative of the Fruit Merchants’ Welfare Association, said, “The demand for fruits is usually more during Ramzan, especially water-rich ones.
As the month nears, the demand rises, causing the price of fruits to fluctuate. The wholesale rates of the most preferred fruits like watermelon, papaya and pineapple will increase by Rs 20-R30 per kg.” Fruit trader Baburao Hande said, “Every year, the rates go up during Ramzan and come down soon after it comes to an end.
Prices fluctuate depending on the supply, but usually they increase, as demand for fruits is more.” Watermelon and papaya come from Maharashtra and a few northern states, while pineapple usually makes its way into the city from Kerala. During the month of Ramzan, over 60-70 trucks loaded with water-rich fruits arrive at APMC on a daily basis.
Apart from fruits, demand for dry fruits usually peaks at this time every year. Traders, however, said that the demand for dry fruits has diminished considerably this year, and they have been unable to make any profits from their sale so far.
Mulchand Shah, a dry fruits trader at APMC, said, “As prices of all essential commodities including vegetables and grains have gone up, people can’t afford dry fruits, which are always expensive. Even though the month of Ramzan is nearing, we have not made any profits. There are hardly any customers in the market at this time.”
The slump in demand has convinced traders not to raise prices of dry fruits in the month of Ramzan. Dharmesh Babubhai, another dry fruit trader, said, “Since the demand for dry fruits is low this time, the prices will remain stable.
As Ramzan has come during the month end this year, many people could not afford to buy dry fruits, as they would hardly have any money left after spending on their monthly expenses.”
During Ramzan, Khajur is available for Rs 25-R600 per kg in the wholesale market depending upon the quality and size. While Cashew costs around Rs 640-Rs 700 per kg, Mamra almonds is priced between Rs 1,400-Rs 2,500 per kg, Anjeer Rs 360-R900 kg, Walnut Rs 860-Rs 1,500 kg and Pista costs around Rs 1,400-Rs 1,500 per kg in wholesale market.