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Jordan- Consumer society blames rise in produce prices on exports  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Jordan Times - 25/09/2012

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Fruit and vegetable prices in the local market have risen in recent weeks, a phenomenon for which exporters and consumer advocates have different explanations (File photo)
(MENAFN - Jordan Times) The Consumer Protection Society (CPS) on Monday accused vegetable and fruit growers and exporters of an "unreasonable" rise in domestic produce prices by increasing exports.

Producers and exporters, however, maintained that the weather and the gap between harvest seasons were behind the recent spike.

In a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times, the CPS said the prices of certain vegetables, such as tomatoes, potatoes and cucumbers, had recently risen to an unreasonable extent due to increasing volumes of produce exports.

Calling on the government to take measures to secure the local market's needs of essential products, the advocacy group said claims that the increase in prices was caused by a shortfall in production were baseless.

The society also accused producers of exporting high quality products while supplying the domestic market with low quality goods.

In response to these allegations, Jordan Exporters and Producers Association for Fruit and Vegetables Director Anwar Haddad reiterated that agricultural outputs during this time of year, between mid-September and the first week of November, usually decline due to the annual rotation from summer crops to winter crops.

He expected the winter crops to start hitting the market in early November.

"This happens every year. Last year during the same period, for example, tomato prices went up to more than JD1 per kilo," Haddad told The Jordan Times over the phone, saying that this year, produce also saw rising demand caused by the influx of Arab tourists and Syrian refugees into the Kingdom.

Tomato prices in retail markets ranged between JD0.75 and JD0.85 per kilo on Monday, while cucumbers were priced around JD0.70 and potatoes at JD0.50 per kilo.

Haddad noted that exporters automatically stop shipping their produce outside the country when prices in the local market go up, not only to stabilise the market but "because it becomes more feasible and profitable for them here".

He called the CPS' analysis of the local market inaccurate, noting that Jordanian vegetable and fruit exports mainly consist of cucumbers, strawberries, broccoli and sweet peppers, which he said are not essential elements of the local diet.

The domestic market requires around 2,500 tonnes of produce daily, Haddad indicated, while Jordan's annual produce output is over two million tonnes, out of which 800,000 tonnes are exported to regional and international markets such as Iraq, Turkey and Europe.

 






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