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In build-up to Eid, fruit market remains bearish

In build-up to Eid, fruit market remains bearish

Aug 30, 2017 - 14:48

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The prices of dried fruits, including almond, pistachio and walnut, have soared prior to Eidul Adha in Kabul, but shopkeepers say the market tends to remain bearish this year.

Afghans wear new clothes, visit friends and relatives and receive guests with different types of fruits during Eid days. Markets are usually get crowd before the festival as people buy clothes, fruits and other things.

However, markets this year are less crowded ahead of the Eid celebration. Fawad Ahmad, a dried fruits merchant, told Pajhwok Afghan News fruit prices were generally stable. But there are fewer buyers.

“In the past, we were able to sell fruits worth 150,000 afghanis on a daily basis. But now that the festival is only two days away, our daily sales don't go beyond 50,000 afghanis,” he said.

The price of one kilogram of almond and walnut has increased by 50 afghanis this year. Ahmad said a kilogram of high-quality almond cost 1,250 afghanis, pine nut 1,200afs, walnut 800afs, pistachio 900 afs, raisin 500 afs, dates 900afs and fried gram 250afs.

In the same period last year, a kilograms of high-quality of almond cost 1,200afs, pine nut 1,200afs, walnut 750afs, pistachio 800afs, raisin 500afs, date 800afs and fried gram 240afs, he recalled.

Hamid, who sells cake and cookies in Pul-i-Bagh Omomi area, said a kilogram of biscuits cost 130afs and the same quantity of cakes 140afs -- the same rates as last year's.

He sold up to 1,050 kilograms of cakes and cookies on daily basis prior to Eid in the past. "But now my daily sales have dropped to around 500 kilograms," he said.

Shopkeepers acknowledge economic and security problems are the main reasons for slumping sales of dried fruit during Eid days.

Some of Kabul residents complain about economic problems and insecurity. They say the problems would not allow people to celebrate the Eid with a sense of happiness.

Mohammad Zaman, a resident of Kart-i-Seh area, said, “The deteriorating security situation has worried Kabul residents, who have witnessed deadly attacks this year.

"Hundreds of people have been killed and wounded and thousands of families directly or indirectly affected. This situation has left a negative impact on Eid shopping.”

Besides that, he said, economic problems had also affected sales of different items as people could not afford to buy lots of things.

Samiullah, an officer at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), told Pajhwok: “I haven't purchased anything for Eid so far. My salary is hardly enought to meet my family’s basic needs.

"One of my sons, who was previously working for a foreign organisation, is currently jobless,” the official said, putting his salary at 8,600afs. The amount was not enough to meet his family requirements, he concluded.




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