KARACHI: A new wave of food inflation has emerged despite a reduction in transport costs due to a drop in diesel tariffs.
Nestle Pakistan Limited (NPL) and FrieslandCampina Engro Pakistan Limited, the makers of Milk Pak and Olpers, respectively, have announced an Rs20 hike in the price of the one-litre pack to Rs200 without citing any reason in the handed over letters. to market retailers.
A 250ml pack and pouch of Olpers Tetra now cost 55 rupees instead of 50 rupees.
When contacted, an official from Nestlé Pakistan Ltd attributed the price hike to rising inflation.
Milk, flour, vegetables become more expensive
Meanwhile, an official from the Pakistan Dairy Association (PDA) said the association could not comment on the price hike and only companies could provide answers.
The 5kg and 10kg sacks of flour from Bake Parlor and Ashrafi brands, which were available at Rs490 and Rs960 before Eidul Azha, are now priced at Rs540-550 and Rs1,050-1,100, with retailers accusing manufacturers of having increased prices.
During the third week of June, millers in Sindh increased the prices of various varieties of flour by Rs 6 per kg, bringing the price of No. 2.5 flour to Rs 88 per kg, fine and super flour. fine at Rs 91 per kg, and that of a 10 kg bag from Rs785 to Rs885.
Karachi Retail Grocers Group (KRGG) General Secretary Farid Qureishi said the rate of chakki flour now hovers between Rs 105-110 instead of Rs 100 per kg.
Mr Qureishi said a number of biscuit makers have raised the prices of the Rs25 pack to Rs30, while the pack costing Rs5 now costs Rs7.
He said that in some cases, the number of biscuits has been reduced from four to three, thus maintaining the price at Rs10.
Many companies have also reduced the supply of cookies in markets to release new stocks with new price tags, he added. Mr Qureishi said soft drink makers have also hiked fares by Rs10.
Now, 500ml retails at Rs70, while 1-litre and 1.5-litre bottles retail for Rs100 and Rs130 from Rs90 and Rs120.
“Manufacturers are passing on higher freight, packaging and other expenses on imported raw materials, which have increased due to the fall of the rupee against the dollar,” he said. .
However, he urged the government to verify manufacturers’ claims of high production costs being passed on mercilessly to consumers.
Onion prices increased from 90-100 rupees per kg to 80 rupees per kg ahead of Eid. The price of Turrai (ridge gourd) and Lokki (bottle gourd) jumped to Rs200 per kg from Rs80-100 per kg ahead of Eid.
During the Eid holiday, retailers were charging Rs 400 per kg for shimla mirch (bell pepper), which has now plunged to Rs 200 per kg from being priced at Rs 160 per kg before Eid. The price of okra had also increased from 150 rupees per kg to 200 rupees per kg, while the price of tomato had fallen to 80-100 rupees from 160 rupees during the days of Eid.
Green chillies used to be sold at Rs 200 per 250 grams during Eid days, which had dropped to Rs 60 per 250 grams.
Haji Shahjehan, chairman of Falahi Anjuman Vegetable Wholesale Market Super Highway, attributed the price swings to demand and supply gaps caused by heavy rains in Sindh and Balochistan, as Karachi produces no other vegetable than Malir peas.
Mr Shahjehan said the government had several departments but had no strategy to more effectively manage the supply chain mechanisms to control prices in emergencies like situations caused by rain and flooding.
Posted in Dawn, July 17, 2022