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Fruit shortages push prices up

By Carla Bridglal carla.bridglal@trinidadexpress.com

Vendors are complaining of shortages and high prices for local fruit.

The Express visited several vendors' booths in downtown Port of Spain yesterday and observed the prices of oranges, grapefruits, mandarins and portugals averaged at about $3 for one.

Vendors along Independence Square said the wholesale price was about $200 for 100 oranges, up from $110-$130.

Earlier this month, the Express also reported a possible reduction in banana prices.

While supermarket prices of bananas have reduced, on the street prices remain the same, averaging $7 per pound.

The wholesale price of bananas, vendors said, was between $180 and $220 for a 35-pound box; before it was $111 to $120.

Pineapple was selling for $8 per pound and wholesale for $5 or $6 per pound.

Banana prices have been fluctuating because of inconsistent supply on the world market caused by shortages in producing countries; vendors and Ministry of Food Production officials told the Express that banana importers also faced challenges with international suppliers sending produce to more lucrative markets, and then when shipments arrived locally, there were some delays on the port.

"People demand bananas, especially hospitals and parents for their children's snacks," vendor Gayle Sayers said.

All Sayers' bananas are imported because there is hardly a local supply and they are often not of good quality, she said.

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