Chicken, mutton and beef vanish from Islamabad markets

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Prices of kitchen items, fruit, vegetable witness increase as Ramazan begins

Zubair Qureshi

With the advent of the Holy month of Ramazan-ul-Mubarak, chicken, beef and mutton vanished from the markets of Islamabad and customers faced a great deal of inconvenience while moving from one market to another in their search.

In case they were able to find the prices were so high that they could not afford them. Similarly, besides mutton and chicken, the prices of essential kitchen items including vegetables and fruits have also witnessed an increase and they were much higher than the preceding week.

A number of butcher shops when contacted in the Sectors G-8, 9 and 10 told they had sold all their meat in the early hours Sunday, as it was the 1st Ramazan and people visited their shops early in the morning to take away all the meat.

Prices of meat have increased phenomenally during the past three years. For instance, mutton price has jumped from Rs800 per kg to Rs 1,450 per kg, while boneless beef price went from Rs500 per kg to Rs850 per kg and beef with bone from Rs400 per kg to Rs650 per kg.

However, chicken prices during this week remained stable at Rs 11,000 per 40kg in the wholesale market which in retail is being sold at Rs290 per kg and chicken meat is available in the range of Rs450-480 per kg. Eggs prices went further up from Rs3,750 per carton to Rs3,850 per carton, which in retail are being sold at Rs140 per dozen against Rs135 per dozen.

Likewise, majority of vegetables as potato price went up from Rs180 per 5kg to Rs200 per 5kg, which in retail are still being sold at Rs50 per kg against Rs55 per kg, onions price witnessed an increase of Rs75 per 5kg, going up from Rs200 per 5kg to Rs275 per 5kg which in retail are being sold at Rs65 per kg against Rs50 per kg and tomato price significantly went up from Rs350 per 5kg to Rs750 per 5kg, which in retail are being sold at Rs160-180 per kg against Rs80-85 per kg.

Similarly chickpea’s price remained stable at Rs375 per 5kg, which in retail are being sold at Rs90 per kg. Chinese garlic price went up from Rs325 per kg to Rs375per kg and ginger price went up from Rs200 per kg to Rs225 per kg. Okra price went up from Rs240 per kg to Rs260 per kg, bitter gourd price went down from Rs185 per kg to Rs165 per kg, carrot price is stable at Rs50 per kg, pumpkin went up from Rs110 per kg to Rs120 per kg, cauliflower price went up from Rs50 per kg to Rs60 per kg, cabbage price went up from Rs45-50 per kg to Rs60 per kg, brinjal remained stable at Rs65 per kg and, yam price went up from Rs85 per kg to Rs95 per kg, fresh bean price went up from Rs120 per kg to Rs140 per kg, marookadu price jumped from Rs35 per kg to Rs45 per kg, and tinda price went up from Rs40 per kg to Rs60 per kg.

During the week prices of the non-perishable items witnessed a mixed trend. Moreover, with the arrival of the holy month of Ramadan, the Ramadan-specific items such as dates, traditional juices, drinks, and basin prices have also gone up.

Ghee-cooking oil prices were already increased two weeks prior to the Ramadan and gone out of reach of the common person as best quality cooking oil-ghee brands such as Dalda, Sufi, and others’ price touched almost Rs500 per kg mark, while B-grade brands’ price has also crossed Rs375 per litre mark. B-grade cooking oil price has gone up from Rs375 per pack to Rs380 per pack of 900 grams.

Within the past three years, the prices of the best quality ghee/cooking oil such as Dalda, Sufi, and Shan have witnessed an increase of Rs280 per kg as it went up from Rs200 per kg to Rs480 per kg, B-grade cooking oil/ghee price have been increased from Rs120 per pack to Rs375 per pack reflecting an increase of Rs255 per pack of 900 grams, while the price of mustard oil has been increased by Rs275 per kg from Rs200 per kg to Rs475 per kg.

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