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Vegetable prices cool down on good rainfall

Last updated on: July 31, 2014 11:43 IST

Vegetable prices cool down on good rainfall

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Dilip Kumar Jha

Following a steep rise till the third week of July, prices of vegetables have moderated in the past 10 days due to resumption of monsoon rains, which has brightened the prospects of a recovery in production.  

After Finance Minister Arun Jaitley cautioned against hoarding and imposed a stock limit, stockists released additional quantities of vegetables into the market to avoid seizure. 

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Image: Vegetable prices have moderated since few days.
Photographs: Reuters
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Vegetable prices cool down on good rainfall

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Consequently, prices of primary vegetables fell up to 50 per cent since July 21, after hitting peak levels early this month.  

On Wednesday, okra prices at the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) wholesale mandi in Vashi fell 15 per cent to Rs 34 a kg compared with Rs 40 a kg on July 21.

Cauliflower and brinjal prices declined 27 per cent and 50 per cent to trade at Rs 16 a kg and Rs 14 a kg, respectively, on Wednesday.

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Image: Vendors arrange vegetables at their stalls at a wholesale market in Mumbai.
Photographs: Mansi Thapliyal/Reuters

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Vegetable prices cool down on good rainfall

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Advancement of monsoon rains has improved the prospects of a restoration in productivity; earlier, a loss was feared. Importantly, the recent spells of rains have been spread evenly across the country.

With the help of the recent moisture, additional acreage covered by individuals will also increase.

Consequently, prices of vegetables have started moderating,” said Avinash Patil, deputy secretary and head (vegetable section), APMC, Vashi.

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Image: A vendor drinks tea as he sits on a weighing scale besides stacked sacks of onions at a wholesale vegetable and fruit market in Chandigarh.
Photographs: Ajay Verma/Reuters

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Vegetable prices cool down on good rainfall

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The trend of a fall in prices was seen at other mandis, too. Data compiled by the National Horticulture Board (NHB) showed a decline in the prices of brinjal, cabbage and okra in Delhi.

While brinjal price fell by a marginal amount to Rs 10.75 a kg on Wednesday from Rs 11.25 a kg about 10 days earlier, cabbage and okra prices also moved down by around a Rs 1 kg lower to close at Rs 12.50 a kg and Rs 16.75 a kg respectively.

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Image: A vendor sells vegetables at a market in Mumbai.
Photographs: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

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Vegetable prices cool down on good rainfall

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Owing to incessant rains in the past few days, stockists procure wet vegetables from the origin, which has shorter shelf life.

Also, there is fear of higher spoilage, which pursues stockists to sell vegetables, even with marginal profits.

This is because holding stocks for a few hours might result in an increase in spoilage,” said Sanjay Bhujbal, a vegetable stockist at the Vashi mandi.

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Image: Vegetables prices have come down at least 30 per cent owing to good rainfall.
Photographs: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

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Vegetable prices cool down on good rainfall

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Tomato prices, however, continue to worry consumers.

Through the past 10 days, prices at the Vashi mandi have risen 50 per cent to Rs 60 a kg.  

Dilip Gupta, a tomato stockist, attributed the rise to spoilage due to rains.

National Horticulture Board data showed India’s tomato production rose five per cent to 19.10 million tonnes in 2013-14, compared with 18.23 million tonnes in 2012-13.

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Image: A labourer carries harvested tomatoes in a basket on her head.
Photographs: Vivek Prakash/Reuters

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Vegetable prices cool down on good rainfall

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Tomato prices will continue to move up, at least for two weeks, by when the new crop will hit mandis.

For other vegetables, prices will depend on the rains. In case of heavy rains and water-logging in the fields, harvesting will be affected; this might lead to a rise in prices.

In case of normal rains, however, prices will continue to soften,” said a senior government official.


Image: Vegetable prices will soften further on monsoon revival.
Photographs: Babu/Reuters
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