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Supply glut sends truffle prices plunging in Kuwait

By Faten Omar

KUWAIT: Prices of the desert truffles (Faqaa) dropped in the Kuwaiti market recently following a spurt in supply of the edible spores in the market. Kuwait Times spoke with several vendors selling imported desert truffles from several countries.

“There is a decrease in the prices of truffles due to the large quantities that existed this year. At the beginning of the season, the price per kilo of Syrian truffle ranged between KD 30 to 50. Now the prices dropped to KD 10 and KD 12 per kilo and the large-sized ones, which are called “sheikh,” range from KD 15 to 12 and medium sizes around KD 8,” Hussein Abu Adel, told Kuwait Times.

He added that the Syrian truffles are the ones available in the market. Suppliers are waiting for the Iranian truffles soon to be imported. Kazem Bu Jawad said that some types of Syrian truffle reach KD 5 and 6 per kilo.

Customers at a truffle market as prices of the commodity tumbled following oversupply.

Small numbers of Saudi and Iraqi truffles are also in the market. Prices of Iraqi truffles start from KD 9-10 for the medium size, said Bu Jawad. “There is a lot of demand for truffles now, and there will be a further decrease in prices in the upcoming days.  The Saudi truffles used to be KD 50 and KD 60 per kilo. Luckily, this year is good and the rain is heavy in Syria and Iraq.”

For Abdullah Abu Youssef, Iraqi truffles are selling out, leaving small amounts available in the market. The Syrian truffles, on the other hand, are selling at KD 20 per four-kilo basket. The season will continue until the end of April.

Gamal Al-Masry, another truffle vendor, said: “We started late this season. Usually, the season starts in December but we started in February. There are a lot of types of truffles “Zubaidi”, “Shahba” and “Ekhlas”. The prices differ depending on the size and from which country it was imported.”

Mohsen Al-Anan said: “I’ve just received fresh Syrian truffles, and we are currently sorting them and removing impurities and dirt, then arranging them according to size. A single piece weighs more than a quarter of a kilo. The Syrian and Iraqi prices range from KD 13 to 15, while the Kuwaiti and Saudi ones are over KD 30 up to 100.”

The fungus, which can be white, brown, or black, grows close to tree roots following rain and soil irrigation. Its size ranges from three to 40 centimeters per plant and its weight ranges from 20 to 400 grams. There are four well-known varieties of truffle. “Al-Zubaidi”, which has a pleasant scent and is mostly white, is known for its large size and high nutritional value.

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