Fish prices shoot up as shortage looms
April 02 2016 09:34 PM
A view from the Doha Central Market.
Most varieties of fish have become very expensive in the local market. A view from the Doha Central Market. PICTURE: Najeer Feroke

By Ramesh Mathew/Staff Reporter

Fish has become very expensive over the last few days in the local market, it is learnt.

While blaming the price hike mainly on the strong off shore winds, some of the retailers said the permission granted earlier this week for exporting fish to the neighbouring GCC countries, mainly Saudi Arabia, too has contributed to the huge rise in rates.

King fish, which enjoys good patronage across the country was priced on Saturday in the range of QR67-80 per kg at retail outlets. The wholesale price of Hamour was QR70/kg. Some of the regular fish buyers said they were forced to return empty handed from the Doha Central Market owing to such extremely high prices.

There were heavy movements of fish for export from the main market between Monday and Wednesday and it created an apparent shortage in the local market, traders said.

A retailer said there should not have been any export to Saudi Arabia earlier this week when there was good demand locally. Such a situation has made such varieties as king fish highly expensive in Doha, it is understood.

Even Sheri prices had touched QR40 or so in Saudi Arabia a week ago and hence the suppliers chose to send their stocks there, a trader said. At that time, the variety was being sold for about QR12/kg in Qatar. Yesterday, Sheri cost QR23/kg even in the wholesale market.

According to a wholesaler prices are expected to remain at the current levels for the next few days as there is an apparent shortage due to poor catch. Inquiries made among fishermen found the ongoing winds have prevented most fishing vessels from venturing out into the sea.

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