The retail price of dry garlic imported from China has reached record high of Rs 720 per kilogram in the domestic market.

According to the officials of the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market Development Board, the outbreak of coronavirus has halted the import of garlic from China and the currently available stock was imported earlier by the traders.

“The customs at the Chinese borders have been closed due to the outbreak of coronavirus and we are unable to import garlic from China, so the price has increased,” said Binaya Shrestha, deputy director of the Board.

He added, “Garlic kept as stock cost more as importers and traders have spent money for its storage, which is the other reason behind the skyrocketing price of garlic.”

The Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market Development Board removed dry Chinese garlic from their website on February 6 as there was a shortage of garlic. On February 18, the board once again decided to enlist the price of dry Chinese garlic in its website.

The price of garlic was Rs 640 on February 5 before the board removed it from its website and the price of garlic was Rs 710 on February 18 when the board decided to enlist the price of garlic from that day.

According to Shrestha, although the price of dry Nepali garlic is lower, consumers prefer consuming Chinese garlic for its taste.

Shrestha said, “Nepali garlic are smaller in size and contains a lot of water but people prefer buying Chinese garlic as it is fleshy, mature and has good taste in absence of moisture.”