Traders: Higher price of US dollars, Syrian war behind Ramadan price hikes

With Ramadan at our doorstep, sacks of dates have appeared in Al-Sayyeda Zeinab market, each carrying a different name and a different price tag. Other kinds of yamish, like raisins, dried apricots, dried figs and others can also be found. The prices of some products, according to traders, are 40 percent higher than last year, which makes consumers leave once they see the price tag.
Ahmed Samir, a trader, says: “People don’t have money and prices are higher than last year. We still hoped to sell more during the last week before Ramadan.”
“We were late this year with regard to the yamish. Every year we start a month before Ramadan, but this year importers failed to get US dollars to buy yamish from abroad. Many products are still stuck at the customs,” he adds.
The imported items, like nuts, have higher prices this year. For example, one kilo of hazelnuts reached LE100 last year, compared to LE 160 this year. Cashew nuts cost LE 110 last year, while this year the price reached LE 120.
Another trader, Reda Abdel Wahab said specific types of Qamar Eddine nutes were available last year, especially the ones from Syria. However, the situation in Syria has affected the flow of Syrian nuts to Egypt.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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