DOHA: Demand for dates goes up substantially during Ramadan so do the prices.
However, this and the previous years the fasting month coincided with the harvest season.
This year, the peak harvest season coincided with the holy month but the prices of the dates, much of which comes from Saudi Arabia and Oman remain high.
The Ministry of Economy and Commerce told local Arabic daily Al Watan in comments published yesterday that the high prices of dates at the Central Market and the Omani Market were due to the “supply and demand” situation, which means supplies remained limited while demand has been increasing.
Responding to a question as to why dates were expensive despite the fact that this was the harvest season, the ministry said its Price Monitoring Department was monitoring the prices of dates in the market on a daily basis.
According to the ministry, inspectors conducted 279 raids on date outlets and caught some 145 violations in the first quarter of this year.
“The ministry will continue to monitor the pricing and will not tolerate any violations. Sellers will not be allowed to raise prices,” it said.
The ministry has urged people to remain vigilant and report any violation they notice to the Consumer Protection Department on hotlines 44945550 and 44945500 or via SMS (92665). People can also communicate their suggestions.