KATHMANDU, April 17: Prices of major dry fruits have fallen by up to 40 percent over a month in the local market because of lower demand triggered by the end of wedding and festive seasons.
Since mid-March, prices of dry fruits like walnuts, pistachio nuts and almond have gone down by around Rs 100 per kg, while prices of cashew nuts, dates, raisins and apricots have declined by Rs 30 to Rs 90 per kg.
On Tuesday, wholesale prices of walnuts, pistachio nuts and almond stood at Rs 280, Rs 890 and Rs 690 per kg, respectively, down from Rs 380, Rs 980 and Rs 800 per kg a month ago. Prices of other dry fruits such as dates fell to Rs 100 per kg from Rs 130 per kg, while raisin was available for Rs 280 per kg, down from Rs 360 per kg recorded a month ago.
Similarly, price of cashew nut stood at Rs 900 per kg, down from Rs 980 per kg a month ago, and betel nuts were selling for Rs 160 per kg compared to Rs 280 per kg recorded a month ago.
Pabitra Bajracharya, president of Nepal Retailers´ Association, blamed low demand for the price decline.
"Demand for dry fruits has gone down due to ending of the wedding season," said KK Pradhan, proprietor of Pushpa Parsad Store at Indra Chowk. "The situation is likely to remain same for at least one more month as period between mid-April to mid-May, considered a wedding season, has shortage of auspicious days for tying knots."
Demand for dry fruits usually go up during wedding and festive seasons as these food products are used in making a range of delicacies. The last wedding season concluded in mid-March, while major festive season lasts for a month from mid-September to mid-October.
Since there are no buyers of these food products these days, sales have gone down by over 50 percent to Rs 13,000 per day, Pradhan told Republica.
Traders around the valley import betel nuts from India and China. Others dry fruits are mainly imported from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Brazil, Iran and the United States.