Consumer Woes Continue: Onion, Wheat Flour, and Sugar Prices Reach New Highs

In an already challenging economic environment, the escalating prices of essential commodities such as wheat flour, onion, and sugar are exacerbating the financial burden on the middle class.

The cost of onions, a staple in nearly every household, has surged to Rs. 200-220 per kg from Rs. 150-180 per kg just last week, marking a significant increase from Rs. 120-150 per kg two weeks prior.

Retailers attribute this spike to heightened onion exports to various countries.

President of Falahi Anjuman Wholesale Vegetable Market, Haji Shajahan, explained that wholesale rates spiked to Rs. 7,000 per 40kg recently, up from Rs. 4,500-5,000, driven by increased exports due to the Indian ban on onion exports until March 2024.

While the wholesale rate reverted to Rs. 5,500-6,000 per 40kg after improved local supply, future trends remain uncertain.

The closure of the Afghan border has also halted onion imports, intensifying pressure on domestic prices.

Concerns arise that Afghanistan and Iran may redirect their shipments to other countries reliant on Indian onions.

Adding to consumers’ challenges, the prices of flour no.2.5 and fine/maida have risen to Rs. 127 and Rs. 140 per kg from Rs. 122 and Rs. 135 due to delayed arrivals of Russian wheat.

Aamir Chaudhry, Chairman of Pakistan Flour Mills Association, Sindh Zone, attributed this increase to the rising price of Russian wheat at the port, reaching Rs. 10,800 per 100 kg bag from Rs. 10,300 last week.

A retailer in the Tariq Road area highlighted that branded chakki and fine flour now cost Rs. 158 and Rs. 152 per kg, compared to Rs. 154 and Rs. 148 on December 1. Rates were even lower at Rs. 150 and Rs. 144 per kg on November 16.

Rauf Ibrahim, Chairman of KWGA, noted a Rs. 15 per kg increase in wholesale sugar rates, reaching Rs. 131 in the last four days. This surge is linked to speculation that millers may be granted permission to export sugar.

Source: Pro Pakistani