J-K floods hit fruit supply to Delhi, prices set to increase

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 23, 2014 02:58 IST

This Navratri, you may have to keep apples out of your feast palette. Delhi is likely to face a shortage of apples this season with supply from Kashmir severely hit due to the flood.

Moreover, apples arriving from Shimla, Kullu and Kinnaur are likely to be more expensive this winter, traders warn.

Walnuts, a much sought-after dry fruit during Diwali, are also going to be pricey if the current supply is not compensated from other sources.

"Apples start arriving from Kashmir by late August. We used to get 200 trucks every day from Shimla and upto 400 apple trucks from Kashmir daily. But now, only 50-100 trucks are arriving," said Mahinder Sampal, member, Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee.

He said the supply had stopped completely over the last two weeks when the floods hit Kashmir. But the supply resumed after the roads were opened for traffic.

"However, what we are receiving is bad quality as the trucks were stranded for many days," said Ajay Singh of Ashirwad Apple Traders at Azadpur market.

He added that while the prices of apples had already shown an upward trend, they may just go off the roof close to Diwali when the demand peaks. Apples from Kinnaur are already expensive as they are of high quality.

"A box (24-28 kilogram) of good quality apples is selling for Rs 1500-1600. B-grade apples are selling for Rs 800-900 for the same quantity. Normally, it sells for Rs 500-600," Singh added.

The price of high quality apples is likely to touch Rs 2000-3000 per box in the coming days. Other fruits from Kashmir and which may be affected are pear, babugosha, peach and plum.

In the dry fruit market, the walnut market has suffered much in the last fortnight due to the floods.
The prices of walnut kernels surged to Rs 2,000 per kilogram.

"We mainly get walnuts from Kashmir and we expect supply to go down considering the situation there. While they are much in demand during Diwali, people buy them all-year round," said Rajeev Kumar, a trader in Khari Baoli.

Khari Baoli is the biggest wholesale market for dry fruits in the capital. It is also one of the biggest buyers of walnuts grown in Kashmir.

"We are hoping for situation to come under control as the supply of walnuts has started again after no transportation for at least 10 days. The price is coming down to Rs 1300 per kilogram again," said Manmohan Singh of Star Dry Fruits in Khari Baoli.

Even if supplies come from areas like Doda and Kishtwar, transporting then to Delhi may be a challenge.

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