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Merchants, losing consumers
KUWAIT CITY, June 18: Traders at the Sharq fish market have recently learned that prices for imported fish have risen. However, they only believed it after receiving a few boxes. They were surprised by the price increase of more than 40%, which adds to the already existing challenges with consumers, reports the daily Al-Anba. Cartons of fish from Turkey take the lion’s share, as a trader has to pay 30 KD for a 500 kilogram carton of fish and sell it at 33 KD. The previous price was 22 KD and was sold at 22.5 KD.
As for boxes containing 600 to 800 fish and weighing 700 or 800 kilograms, the trader bought them at 25 or 26 KD per box, and sold them at 3 KD per kilogram. It is currently bought for 34 KD and sold at 3.4 KD or 3,750 KD to the consumer. Boxes of 1,000 fish used to be bought by traders for 27 KD, but they now cost 39 KD. Consumers buy them at KD 4,250 per kilogram.
As for Norwegian fish, traders buy it at 100 KD a box, and one kilogram of fish was sold for 5 KD. But now it costs KD 5,250 per kilogram. Shopkeepers and consumers expressed their displeasure and resentment, as shopkeepers were unaware of prices rising at such a rate, and consumers ended up accusing sellers of being greedy and scammers.
This prompted traders to appeal to relevant authorities through the daily newspaper to intervene, reduce and control prices, protect consumers, auction fish or prevent the import of fish from Turkey. Some merchants explained on a daily basis that what is happening has caused a lack of self-confidence and a drop in the rate of customers by 20%. They explained that they paid 600 KD for rent and 900 KD for three workers, in the absence of a local competitor of the importer, adding that the increase came from the source. The trader revealed that the price of snapper fish is 4 KD, silver croaker 4 KD and fatty grouper 7 KD.