Rise in coconut prices – from Rs.12 to Rs.18 apiece in a year – may render the one of city’s favourite sweets dearer

Confectioners preparing the popular nariyal ki mithai, a blend of sugar and mashed coconut, are facing tough times. The reason – the price of coconut, an integral part of the mouth-watering sweet, has witnessed a drastic increase.

Good quality coconut now costs Rs.18 apiece as against Rs.12 a year ago.

“Prices have significantly risen in the last one year. But we have yet not increased the price of the sweet. Instead the vendors are taking a cut in their profit,” a confectioner at Shahalibanda, says Shaik Mohiuddin, adding that they could not raise the price of the sweet as it would lose its patronage and affect overall sales.

A few hundred vendors buy the sweet from the eight confectioners who prepare it, and sell it across the city. These confectioners numbered around 25 a decade ago, it is said.

The younger generation in the families of the confectioners avoid the job as it pays little and because of the strenuous labour it entails, says Mohiuddin.

“They (youngsters) want more money and less work, so how can the trade survive?” he asks.

The price of a kilogram of the sweet has now been revised from Rs.120 to Rs.140 a kilogram, as against Rs.100 a year ago. However, nowadays people buy them in a few numbers, and savour them with pieces of coconut.

“Though sugar prices have come down, the prices of coconut continue to hover around Rs.1,800 for 100 pieces. Depending on the situation, we may be forced to increase the price,” says Murtuza Bhai, another confectioner at Amannagar.

Traders say the price rise of coconuts is due to its short supply. “The situation will continue for some more time. There is a shortfall of about 40 per cent,” says a wholesale coconut trader at Osmangunj market.

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