UAE: 20% decrease in fish prices during the holy month

The prices of fresh fish experienced a notable decline in the initial week of Ramadan, with reductions of up to 20% observed in certain varieties.

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Sellers linked this significant price drop to an upsurge in fish supply, reduced consumer inclination towards fish consumption for Iftar meal, and a preference for red and white meat dishes during the Ramadan period.

Merchants at Al Mina Market and Al Mushrif Mall Market in Abu Dhabi confirmed that fish prices had decreased by varying percentages, ranging from five to 20%, for several fish types compared to pre-Ramadan prices. For instance, sha’ari prices decreased from 18 to 12 dirhams, bass from 40 to 35 dirhams, and fresh shrimp prices ranged between 30 and 60 dirhams, with larger sizes exceeding 80 dirhams. Grouper fish saw a decline from 55 to 45 dirhams, while salmon dropped from 65 to 52 dirhams per kilogram. Local sea bass reached 38 dirhams per kilogram, sea bass 44 dirhams, and kingfish 35 dirhams. Sultan Ibrahim was priced at 22 dirhams, mullet fish at 20 dirhams, net at 10 dirhams, and seabream at 33 dirhams.

This decrease in prices at the onset of Ramadan is a recurring pattern annually, as supply typically surpasses demand, with most consumers opting for red and white meat-based foods like stews and porridge. The bulk of sales is concentrated on specific types of fish, such as kingfish and hamour, used in dishes like Machboos.

Adel Nouri, a fish vendor at the port market, noted, "Fish prices have declined due to reduced purchase demand," anticipating a price surge in the latter half of Ramadan as consumers seek variety, reaching its peak just before Eid al-Fitr.

Echoing this sentiment, another fish seller, Ayman Al-Masry, attributed the trend to increased demand for meat and poultry during Ramadan, with prices expected to rise closer to Eid al-Fitr as demand for fish surges, both from individuals and restaurants. Sellers affirmed that prices were higher before Ramadan but have since decreased, a recurring pattern during the holy month due to decreased consumer demand for fish consumption.

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