Supermarkets Dushanbe and Khujand increase margins on vegetables and fruits

Supermarkets Dushanbe and Khujand increase margins on vegetables and fruits


An audit of the fruit and vegetable departments of supermarkets showed that retail prices for most types of fruits and berries in Khujand and Dushanbe did not change significantly over the year

Audit of fruit and vegetable departments of retail supermarket chains several times a year is carried out by EastFruit in various cities. This audit allows us to determine the levels of retail prices for different categories of fruits and vegetables. In order for the assessment to be correct, data from different formats of supermarket chains operating under the same brand are taken into account.

The most common categories of fruits that were available in most stores, namely, apple, banana, peach, watermelon, cherry and berries, were taken for evaluation. At the same time, the lowest price in the product category was used to assess the retail price level, provided that the product was of standard quality. If the product did not meet the minimum quality criteria, that is, it had signs of spoilage or marriage, or if the caliber of the fruit was non-standard, then such a product was taken into account to assess the price level.

Prices for fruits and berries remained almost unchanged for the whole year in Dushanbe and Khujand

An audit of the fruit and vegetable departments of supermarkets by the EastFruit team showed that retail prices for most types of fruits and berries in Khujand and Dushanbe did not change significantly over the year. Compared to June 30, 2019, the fruit basket of Khujand supermarkets rose by less than 2% in somoni. In Dushanbe, prices for vegetables and fruits rose by 10%.

Due to the fall in the somoni exchange rate against the dollar by 9% over the year (from 9.43 to 10.30 somoni per 1 dollar), in dollar terms, fruit prices in retail chains even decreased. But since the population receives income in somoni, below we will consider the price dynamics in local currency – Tajik somoni.

Most of all, in Khujand, prices for peach and nectarine increased by 30% over the year. Khujand supermarkets sold this type of fruit this June at an average of 10 somoni per kg. Also, an apple rose by 15% over the year.

At the same time, in Dushanbe, the cost of peach for the year has not changed. In Dushanbe, the most expensive apple – 36%. Obviously, the inertia of 2019 affected when the apple crop was lower than usual, and apple prices were kept at a high level all season.

The analysis showed that there are products that have become cheaper in a year, even in somoni. True, we are talking about an imported product – bananas. They were sold in Dushanbe at 4%, and in Khujand 15% cheaper than in 2019.

Of the berries, strawberries fell in price this year – by 20% in Khujand. Also, raspberries appeared on the shelves, which during this period last year were absent on store shelves.

See also: Retail Group deals an unexpected blow to prices and becomes one of the leaders in the produce trade in Kiev

Borsch set vegetables fell sharply compared to 2019 in Dushanbe and Khujand

Prices for a set of so-called vegetables of borsch set (onions, beets, cabbage, carrots and potatoes) for the year remained practically unchanged. Compared with June 30, 2019, prices for these categories of goods in supermarkets in Khujand increased by an average of 2% in somoni, while in Dushanbe prices generally remained unchanged.

At the same time, retail prices for vegetables inside the basket had multidirectional dynamics. The average prices for yellow onions were 1.17 somoni / kg (11 US cents) in Khujand and 1.28 somoni / kg (12 US cents) in Dushanbe as of June 30, 2020. However, a year earlier, at the same time, retail prices for onions were almost 3 times higher. This was due to high demand last year in export markets, which stimulated domestic prices. In addition, the high price level last year forced farmers to expand onion areas, respectively, supply increased and negatively affected prices in 2020.

In Dushanbe this year, the price of carrots fell by almost 50%, while in Khujand, the decline in the price of this vegetable was 15%. The reason is overproduction due to high prices a year earlier and lack of exports to Kyrgyzstan due to border closures.

At the same time, there is an increase in prices in Dushanbe and Khujand for beets by 10% and 20%, respectively. As well as an almost twofold increase in prices in both cities for potatoes, the average prices of which in Khujand and Dushanbe exceeded 5 somoni per kg (49 US cents per kg). Demand for potatoes throughout the season remained high. This is partly due to the sudden increase in the area under potatoes, the accumulation of potato reserves by the population due to the coronavirus, as well as the blocking of borders and the difficulty of import in the spring.

According to the audit, prices for white cabbage also increased by 20% in Khujand and twice in Dushanbe. So on June 30, 2020, cabbage in Khujand supermarkets could be bought on average for 1.90 somoni / kg (18 US cents), and in Dushanbe – 1.35 somoni / kg (12 US cents). At the same time, the price level of the previous year amounted to 1.60 somoni / kg and 0.70 somoni / kg, respectively.

Prices for tomatoes, cucumbers and greens – supermarkets increased margins

During this period, tomatoes and cucumbers are sold both from greenhouses and from open ground. There are no particular preferences for Tajik supermarkets, although greenhouse products are a priority in other countries due to their higher quality parameters and better preservation both on shelves and among consumers. For Tajikistan, due to the underdevelopment of the greenhouse business, the lack of competition among supermarket chains and low incomes, vegetables are bought where it is cheaper.

At prices for 30/06/2020, the cost of a set of tomatoes and cucumbers increased in Dushanbe by 15%, while in Khujand the price increase reached 57%. The main growth leaders are the cucumber in Khujand, which rose from 3.57 somoni in 2019 to an average price of 4.41 somoni / kg in 2020. At the same time, there is a 38% reduction in prices for cucumber in Dushanbe for the year. In Dushanbe, the growth leader is tomato, the average price of which increased from 6.20 somoni / kg to 10 somoni / kg. And at the same time, a year-over-year decrease in tomato prices by 31% in Khujand.

This price imbalance in the two largest cities of the country is partly due to the arrival of field tomatoes and cucumbers, which have already been sold since May 2020, as well as different production zones.

A big increase in prices was shown by dill and parsley, which more than doubled in price in Khujand. At the same time, in Dushanbe parsley rose by only 20%. Despite the fact that in the same period the wholesale price of greens remained unchanged, supermarkets in Khujand decided that buyers would not notice the increase in prices for greens, and decided to increase the margin.

The full results of the retail audit of fruit and vegetable departments of supermarkets of Tajikistan on the quality of departments and services, the quality of fruits and vegetables and assortment are available here.


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