Traders attribute the increase in prices of fruits and vegetables to a decline in supply.
Dubai - Ministry of Economy denies spike, says unified price system will be in place soon.
Prices of foodstuff have gone up considerably across the country after fuel prices were hiked earlier this month. A top Ministry of Economy official, however, denied any rise in prices.
In fish markets - especially in Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah - prices have shot up, with one piece of barracuda fish costing Dh65, as opposed to the usual Dh35.
A 45-kg box of sheri fish (spangled emperor) is going for Dh1,200 as opposed to the usual Dh400; while safi (rabbitfish) is sold for Dh65 per kilo as compared to Dh35-Dh40. Prices of jash and kover fishes have gone up from Dh25 per kilo to Dh35.
Mosaad Abu Abdullah, a fisherman, attributed the price hike to soaring temperatures.
Due to the heat, he said, fishes are retreating to the bottom of the sea, making it difficult to catch them. Sea pirates, he said, is another concern.
Ismail Bu Rashid, another fisherman, said they have to travel long distances in search of fish due to the heat. He predicted prices would remain high till next month, when fishes tend to return near the coasts.
Fruits and vegetables
Prices of fruits and vegetables have gone up by 30 to 40 per cent. Traders attributed the hike to "decline in supply" and fuel price hike. Mohammed Abu Bakr, a salesman at the market, said the price of a box of tomatoes has increased from Dh10 to Dh20, and the price of locally-produced cucumber and lettuce has increased from Dh7 per box to Dh10.
Noor Uldin, another salesman, said the hike in petrol prices has pushed up the prices of fruits and vegetables.
No hike, says official
Dr Hashim Al Nuaimi, Director of Consumer Protection Department at the Ministry of Economy, however denied any increase in prices. He said his department will implement the unified prices system, which was announced during Ramadan.
The system was implemented in Sharjah markets on a trial basis.
He called on consumers to make use of the consumer monitoring initiative the ministry had launched earlier and report any increase in prices to the ministry. Consumers can contact the ministry on 600-522-225. He said prices of food and consumer products are stable and have not been affected by the fuel price hike.
"The ministry is keeping a close watch on markets," he affirmed.
He said the ministry is coordinating with economic departments, municipalities and all departments concerned to prevent exploitation of the fuel price hike.