KARACHI: A storm of food inflation is all set to rattle the consumers, as a variety of pulses is already taking the lead with a big price hike on the retail markets of the city, importers and retailers said on Saturday.

“Wholesale market’s response to the incessant fuel oil price hike by Rs60 per liter and increase in dollar rate over Pak rupee is slow to translate the food inflation at present,” a leading pulses importer, Anis Majeed told Business Recorder that the edible commodities are going to become costlier sooner than later. Channa (pulses) is alone seeing an increase of Rs4 per kg increase on the wholesale market, he said that “those all varieties of pulses being imported will see an increase in prices on the retail markets as well”. Nearly, he said, 70 percent of pulses varieties are imported.

He also attributed to the food inflation to the present economic uncertainty with dollar rate growing against the Pak rupee, saying that businesses are faced with a “difficult and unpredictable” situation.

On the retail market, prices of different pulses items grew between Rs40 per kg and Rs80 per kg, which brought the poor consumers to a difficult bargain, Muhammad Zubair, a retail grains vendor based in Keamari, told Business Recorder. It is important to mention that the commodities prices may vary in different parts of the metropolis.

“Price of ghee will go up,” he said that Malaysia, which is Pakistan’s top edible oil supplier, has stopped sales of the commodity for two months that will cause a stress on the local market, resultantly.

Similarly, there is an official ban on the sales of loose ghee, which also caused the market to rely more on the branded ones affecting the poor “the worst”. “Previously the poor consumer will buy a kilogram of ghee at their financial affordability but after ban they have to buy at a five kilogram of bag, increasing their cost of cooking,” he added.

Pulses, he said, are available at an increased rates following the economic recession with petrol price hike and growing dollar value disparity with the local currency unit. Now, daal Channa is selling for Rs240 per kg, up by Rs40; daal masoor for Rs300 per kg, up by Rs80; daal maash for Rs320 per kg, up by Rs70; white Channa for Rs320 per kg, up by Rs60; black Channa for Rs200, up by Rs40 and Kabuli Channa for Rs360 per kg, up by Rs80. However, price of daal moong is selling for Rs135 per kg, which is unchanged.

Sela rice (1121 brand) has become costlier by Rs80 to Rs260 per kg, branded edible oil up by Rs70 to Rs570-606 a liter, wheat flour up by Rs100 to Rs780 per 10 kg. “Wheat flour is becoming short due to the official delimitations on district-based supply and sales,” Zubair said, fearing the edible commodities are going to shake the consumers with a storm of price hike in days to come because of the fall in rupee value, fuel oil price hike and global market situation.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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