Prices have increased, selling has dropped, say traders

The prices of fruit and vegetables have continued to rise, several wholesale traders said yesterday, attributing this to difficulties in transportation caused by the curfew.

In Beni Suef, buying and selling in the governorate's largest market stopped after popular committees canceled the market to which traders from nearby governorates of Fayoum, Minya and Assiut regularly flock.  In move led to an increase in prices.

Mohamed Saad, head of Fayoum’s local council, said that certain precautions have to be taken in the normally crowded market to prevent fights between market goers, especially given the absence of the police.

In Ismailia, dozens of people queued up to purchase gas cylinders. An official from the city council said the rush is caused by people wanting to stockpile cylinders at home.  

In the Delta city of Beheira, wholesale traders said the company, which supplies sugar to the city, has raised price from LE4600 to LE5000 per ton. A severe shortage of cooking oil was reported as well.

Meanwhile, in other areas, prices of vegetables dropped, with those of tomatoes dropping from LE8 to LE2 per kilo.

In Sharqiya, prices of basic commodities increased, while traders who sell non-basic commodities said selling has come to a complete stop. One trader complained that he must continue paying employee salaries and LE1500 in rent despite the sharp drop in sales.

Day laborers said their sources of livelihood have been destroyed.

In Alexandria, Saeed Hassan, an accountant and the head of the Alexandria Company for Consumer Cooperatives, said cooperatives changed their opening hours when the government announced the new curfew hours. Around 200 cooperatives will be open from 9AM to 6PM.  

Despite rising prices, food supplied to Alexandria has increased, with sugar supplies rising to 50 tons per day, rice supplies to 20 tons and poultry supplies to 100 tons, he added.


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