Saudi: 200% spike in grocery prices during Ramadan

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Prices of fruits and vegetables have gone up by about 200 percent in the retail shops and supermarkets before the arrival of the holy month of Ramadan, local daily Al-Madina reported on Tuesday quoting market sources.

Mohammed Al-Johani, deputy chairman of the foodstuff committee of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), confirmed that the prices of fruits and vegetables in retail shops and supermarkets were more by about 200 percent over their real prices in the Halaqa due to their rising operational costs.

He said the price of a kilogram of cucumber in the retail shops is SR1.5 while the entire carton which weighs about 20 kg is sold between SR5 and SR8 in the Halaqa.

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He also said a kilogram of cantaloupe is sold in the supermarkets at SR1 while the entire carton weighing 10 kg in the Halaqa is sold at SR4 only.

This year, prices of dates in wholesale shops witnessed a fluctuating rise of 10%, and is expected to reach a 20-25% increase during the first two weeks of Ramadan, according to Al-Johani.

Johani said most of the vegetables are sold at double their prices in retail shops while in the Halaqa the prices are quite reasonable.

He recalled that the agricultural products come directly from the farms to the auction in the Halaqa where their prices are fixed before being distributed to supermarkets and retail shops which sell them at extremely high prices.

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Deputy chairman of the syndicate of auctioneers, Mutassim Abu Zinadah, warned the supermarkets from the crazy prices of fruits and vegetables before Ramadan and said they increase the prices by more than 100 percent to make extra dough.

He asked the consumers to buy their fruits and vegetables directly from the Halaqa which provides high-quality products at affordable prices.

Source Credit: Saudi Gazette


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