Prices of flour, pulses rise

Published May 10, 2015
KARACHI: A woman purchasing grocery items at a retail shop in Saddar in this file photo.—White Star
KARACHI: A woman purchasing grocery items at a retail shop in Saddar in this file photo.—White Star

KARACHI: Consumers have started feeling the pinch as they are paying more for flour and pulses ahead of the budget and the month of Ramazan, starting from the third week of next month.

Sources said stakeholders are also trying to push up rates of essential items to make a case for fixing their prices on the higher side for the Ramazan price list to be issued by the Commissioner of Karachi after a meeting with stakeholders.

The retailers are seen charging Rs420-430 for a 10kg bag for flour (Bake Parlor and Ashrafi) as compared to Rs400-410, blaming flour millers for pushing up prices.

A flour miller said he had raised the price to Rs410 from Rs390, but lowered the price to Rs400 on Saturday.

He attributed the price hike to rising prices of wheat in the open market. He said the 100kg bag rate rose to Rs3,250 from Rs3,150 a few days back, but on Saturday the rate slightly fell by Rs50 to Rs3,200 per bag due to which he reduced the price to Rs400.

In other items, retailers said various pulses have become costlier by Rs5 to 10 per kg. For example, the price of gram pulse peaked to Rs90 from Rs85 per kg last week.

They said if no serious effort is made to check prices at the wholesale stage, consumers would pay Rs120 per kg for gram pulse during Ramazan.

Similarly, the price of Baisen went up to Rs93 from Rs90 per kg. The price of red masoor increased to Rs150 from Rs140 per kg. The rate of moong also rose to Rs175 from Rs170 per kg.

According to figures of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), overall import of pulses during July-March 2014-15 showed growth of 37pc in quantity and 32pc in value. Total imports stood at 479,063 tonnes ($284 million) as compared to 349,277 tonnes ($215 million) in the same period last fiscal year.

Karachi Wholesalers Grocers Association Chairman Anis Majeed said prices of some pulses in world markets have been under pressure due to extensive buying by India.

He said this year gram pulse crop in Pakistan has been slightly low due to untimely rains as compared to previous years while its price in world market, which was $600 per tonne two months back, is now $700 per tonne.

Published in Dawn, May 10th, 2015

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