Chinese border restriction makes Nepali market expensive

Kathmandu: Inflation has risen in Nepal as the northern border with China has been closed. Prices of fruits, clothes and other machinery have skyrocketed.

China has long closed the border, citing the risk of the corona virus. This checkpoint, which is rarely open for fetching health supplies, has occasionally been flooded with other supplies. But when that is not enough, transportation from China has become more expensive.

When Tatopani and Kerung, the main ports with China, are blocked, the goods have to be brought to Nepal via Kolkata, India. Fruit prices have also skyrocketed in Nepal due to rising transportation costs.

With the risk of corona virus, the price of apples in the market has increased by 25 to 30 percent. Apples available at Rs 100 have now reached Rs 250 at retail. Cheaper varieties of apples used to enter Nepal due to easy access from Tatopani and Kerung. However, it has become expensive to bring quality varieties of apples that do not deteriorate for a long time as there is a problem in bringing cheap varieties of apples that can be bought and sold quickly after the checkpoint is closed.

Nepal is importing apples worth Rs. 7-8 billion annually from China due to lack of market for indigenous apples and lack of production as per the demand.