KARACHI: Retailers have kept the prices of tomato high despite its import from Iran which resulted in a big drop in its wholesale price ahead of Ashura.
The wholesale price of tomato showed fluctuating trends during the last few days. The wholesale price dropped to Rs70-75 per kg on Sept 29 from Rs100-110 per kg on Sept 28, which was Rs160-170 per kg last Monday.
On Oct 2, the wholesale price again surged to Rs160-170 per kg because of thin supplies at the main vegetable market on account of two holidays (ninth and 10th Muharram). Therefore, the retailers again swelled the price to Rs200 per kg from Rs140-160 per kg.
In the last eight days, the retailers had maintained the price of tomato at Rs160-200 per kg despite a sharp drop in its wholesale price.
The president of the Falahi Anjuman Wholesale Vegetable Market Superhighway, Haji Shahjehan, said the wholesale prices had dropped because of improved supplies from Iran and Balochistan.
He said the wholesale prices had again risen on Monday due to scant supplies of tomato because of two Ashura holidays.
Mr Shahjehan added that the import of tomato was necessary to stop its prices from increasing further.
The strict warning given by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah last week for bringing down the prices of vegetables and taking profiteers to task has so far proved ineffective.
However, retailers in Hyderi and F.B. Area said consumers preferred Balochistan tomato to Iran’s because of its better quality and taste.
They said same was the case with Iranian onion as consumers did not like it because of its high moisture.
So far, the wholesale price of onion has been pegged to Rs50-55 per kg while retailers are demanding Rs70-80 per kg in various areas.