Fruit and vegetable prices at the Wholesale Market have dropped by almost 50% compared to prices last week, it is learnt. Vendors claimed that low prices stemmed from oversupply of goods.
Citing a recent shipment of 25 containers of garlic, one vendor complained that “there were no buyers,” forcing them to sell from between QR18 and QR15 per box (around 7kg) to as low as QR2 per box.
Another vendor said 7kg of garlic was selling for QR20 yesterday, while a box of oranges was selling for QR22 per box from QR55 last week. A box of lemons was selling for QR15 yesterday and one box of tomatoes (7kg) was selling for QR15, a box of carrots (4kg for QR4), and potatoes (5kg for QR5).
“Two months ago, prices of fruits and vegetables had gone up but due to government intervention, prices have stabilised. Now that prices have gone down, it is a good time for customers to buy in bulk,” one customer pointed out.
A long-time Doha resident speculated that many expatriates are on annual leave this time of the year and many are expected to return from vacation after the Eid al-Adha holidays. Another vendor shared the same view, saying they get few customers “because many residents are on vacation and many schools will only open after Eid al-Adha.”
“But we still expect business to improve in the coming days because many families will be buying more food stuff, especially those who will be spending Eid in Qatar. We also expect eateries and restaurants to buy more vegetables and spices,” he said.
But one customer said current prices at Wholesale Market are “moderately low” compared to last week.
“However, if you compare the prices here with those being sold in major hypermarkets, you are still getting a good deal if you purchase wholesale. Hypermarket prices are higher, of course,” he said.
In contrast, a staffer from a major hypermarket said “business is normal without any price issues.”
“We are getting all types of fruits and vegetables at normal prices. The only issue we experienced was during the first two to three days of the economic blockade. Most prices had gone up but now that government had taken supply from other sources, prices are now normal,” he said.
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