Vegetable prices likely to rise, pulses to be stable: Traders
Even as rainfall remains weak, and the IMD forecasts show patchy rainfall until mid-July, vegetable traders say prices are likely to rise.
Pulses traders say that sales have increased in the past 15 days as vegetable prices are increasing in retail. “Housewives are buying more pulses due to the media hype over rising vegetable prices.
The stable prices of pulses have also contributed to the rise,” said Sunil Baldeva trader at the Naya Bazar market of New Delhi. Ample supplies in the market have corrected prices of chana dal in wholesale by 8per cent to Rs 32 a kg in the past fortnight. Yellow peas is at Rs 33 a kg and masur dal is at Rs 60 a kg.
“In the next week to ten days when rains pick up, vegetable prices are bound to increase. At that time, fields will be inundated with water and supplies will slow down,” said Rajinder Sharma, president oof the Azadpur mandi in New Delhi. The trader who is also the general secretary of the Azadpur Potato and Onion Merchants Association said that prices of onions and potato were stable. “Rather than increasing the minimum export price, exports should be closed and import duty be relaxed for certain vegetables,” he said.
Prices of potato in Azadpur and even Mumbai’s Vashi market were in the range of Rs 17-19 a kg and Rs 17-24 for onion, respectively. As per Sahoo, prices of most vegetables over last year’s have been down by around 20 per cent excluding potato and onion. Safal sells around 300 tonne of fruits and vegetables daily with onions contributing around 15per cent to the total throughput.
The scenario in the southern and eastern part of the country is much different where temperatures are high owing to patchy rains. Vegetable crops which were in the flower-setting stage have been burnt, said Shriram Gadhave, president of Maharashtrabased All India Vegetable Growers Association. “Vegetable production has fallen by 50per cent and prices of tomato, cucumber, cabbage, cauliflower, okhra, bottle gourd, have increased by 5-10per cent in the past one week,” he said.
Similarly, in West Bengal prices of vegetables are inching upwards as the state is yet to receive adequate rains for vegetables to grow in plenty. Prices of vegetables like pointed gourd, ridged gourd have appreciated by 20per cent-30per cent in a week. Traders say prices will climb further if it does not rain. Agriculture marketing minister Arup Roy said that the state government is keeping a close vigil on price movement. However, retail chain Mother Dairy feels that it is early to talk about price rise with incessant torrential rains yet to hit the region.