As the festive season starts, prices of many food items that are much in demand during this time of the year—cashew nuts, dates, almonds and meat—are on the rise.
With the beginning of Ramzan, retailers across the city have hiked the prices of fruits, especially dates —a commodity they say is most in demand during this season.
"The most inexpensive variety of dates would cost R40-50 per kg last year. This year, we are charging between R60-70 per kg. Varieties such as Ajuwa are more expensive because we have to import these from the Gulf. These can cost as much as R2500-3000 per kg," said a retailer in Chandni Chowk.
Not just dates, the prices of dry fruits too are all set to rise in the few days. Wholesalers though, have warned that retailers charge according to the quality of the dry fruit and the commercial viability of the locality.
This means almonds brought in from Iran will cost much more than the American ones. Similarly, dry fruits sold in areas such as Chandni Chowk will be cheaper than those sold in INA.
"During the entire festival season, the demand for cashew nuts and almonds goes up significantly because customers ask for gift packs and sweet makers make dry-fruit based items. But the price that retailers charge for these commodities varies according to the area and the profit margin they maintain," said Kamal Longani, member of the traders' association at Khari Baoli.
The price of meat, too, has gone up. From R300 per kg, the price has gone up to R350 per kg. Meat vendors say the rise in prices can be attributed to the increasing demand for meat during the Ramzan period.
Prices of fruits such as apples have also seen an upward spiral from R31 per kg last week to R77 per kg this week, a steep 150% jump.