KATHMANDU, Aug 14: Prices of spices increased in the domestic market by as much 40 percent over the past month due to soaring price in source markets and erratic supplies.
According to traders, prices of spices have increased by as much as Rs 300 per kg. Cumin, coriander and fenugreek seeds have become dearer by Rs 50 to Rs 75 per kg.
“As we are fully dependent on international market for spices, any change in prices there directly affects prices in the domestic market,” Binay Joshi of Tea and Spice Center said. “For example if price increases by IRs 5 per kg in India, it will make spices dearer by at least Rs 15 per kg in Nepal.”
Joshi further said absence of strong mechanism for market monitoring is flourishing ahead of the festive season.
Prices of cumin and coriander seeds have increased by Rs 50 per kg each to touch Rs 300 and Rs 150 per kg respectively. Likewise, nutmeg has become dearer by a whopping Rs 330 per kg and is selling at Rs 980 per kg. Cloves are selling at Rs 900 per kg, up from last month´s Rs 700 per kg.
Similarly, prices of white pepper and black pepper have increased by Rs 230 per kg each to touch Rs 700 and Rs 685 per kg respectively. Cardamom and mace flower have become expensive by Rs 300 each to Rs Rs 2,800 and Rs 1,200 per kg respectively.
“We have been seeing consistent rise in the price of spices because of price hike in international market and irregular supplies from source countries,” said Sajeeb Bajracharya, attendant at a spices shop in Indra Chowk.
Nepal imports most of the spices through India. Nutmeg comes from Macau, long pepper, cinnamon and bay leaf are sourced from Singapore, while cloves, cumin and white pepper are imported from South Africa. Dry ginger, red chilly and other popular spices are imported from neighboring China and India.