Ramadan is usually marked by a surge in both consumption and prices, especially in the food & beverages sector.
Saudi Arabia’s Central Bank, expected during an April report, inflation to rear its head in Q2 2018 on an anticipated spike in consumer demand during the holy month of Ramadan, Reuters reported.
But a 200% increase in prices was not foreseen!
What are Saudis advised to do? And how is UAE doing, on the other hand?
Are fruit prices bulging?
Prices of fruits and vegetables have gone up by about 200% in Saudi retail outlets and supermarkets due to rising operational costs, according to Thomson Reuters Zawya.
Mohammed Al-Johani, deputy chairman of the foodstuff committee in Jeddah, said that many fruit and vegetables were selling at twice the price of the central fruit and vegetables market the Halaqah, a village in Makkah Province, in western Saudi.
According to Al-Johani, a kilo of cucumbers costs $0.40, while an entire 20kg carton was selling for $1.33 – $2.13 in the Halaqa.
Meanwhile, a kilo of cantaloupe was retailing at $0.27 in the supermarkets, while an entire 10kg carton was going for just 1.07 in the Halaqa.
Even the Dates?
Dates being one of the most important foods during Ramadan and a crucial part of the Iftar, the demand results in a fair amount of increase in prices.
This year, prices of dates in wholesale shops witnessed a fluctuating rise of 10%, and is expected to reach a 20-25% increase during the first two weeks of Ramadan, according to Al-Johani.
“This peak in prices is caused by the delay of the harvest season,” Zawya reported Al-Johani as saying.
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Head to Halaqa for fair prices
Al Johani explained that the agricultural products come directly from the farms to the auction in the Halaqa where their prices are fixed before being distributed to supermarkets and retail shops which sell them at extremely high prices.
Mutassim Abu Zinadah, deputy chairman of the syndicate of auctioneers, said that prices in the Halaqa would remain stable despite an increase in demand caused by the arrival of large numbers of pilgrims for Ramadan.
Major importer Sharbatly advised consumers to purchase produce directly from importers in the Halaqa if they wished to obtain the fairest prices.
UAE, on the other hand, is offering up to 75% on groceries during Ramadan.
Where are the UAE sales?
According to ConVi GmbH, for insights on products and services, 4 markets in the UAE are offering 75% off on grocery gadgets for one month, here are they.
Carrefour: Offering up to 70% discounts on meals, particular household packs and Ramadan baskets.
With the reductions, Carrefour estimates that customers within the UAE can save greater than Dh50 million on grocery payments, according to ConVi GmbH.
Union Coop: 75% off on greater than 15,000 merchandise and some of its branches are open 24/24 during the holy month, said ConVi GmbH.
Sharjah Coop: 1000 products on sale (50% to 70%)
Almaya: At Almaya branches, buyers can save as much as 50% on their grocery invoice.
The low cost applies to meals and non-food gadgets, together with vegetables and fruit, reported ConVi GmbH.