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Worldwide chickpea shortage threatens hummus price hike

A plate of Hummus. (Shutterstock)
DUBAI: If a 70 percent sale on Nutella at a supermarket in France led to riots, what would Arabs do if the price of hummus were to rise?
A shortage in hummus’ main ingredient, chickpeas, due to unseasonably wet and cold weather, has threatened to force a hike in the price of the staple Middle Eastern dish.
Chickpeas thrive in dry weather, however, due to the unusual weather, which as well as rain, has also seen frost setting in, has damaged crops in exporter countries, resulting in low supplies.
The shortage has already affected Lebanon’s market.
Lebanese food importing company Riachi Trading told Lebanon’s The Daily Star that one kilogram of chickpeas cost $1.50 in 2017, but has nearly doubled to $2.80 in 2018.
“One kilogram of chickpeas is sold for LL5,000 ($3.30) when it used to be between LL1,250 ($0.99) to LL2,000 ($1.32),” an employee of Riachi Trading told the Lebanese daily.
For a country that has weathered political and sectarian strife, will this be the chickpea that breaks the Arab’s back?

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