Mandi prices of tomato and onion have witnessed a sharp decline in the last month because of improvement in supplies due to more-than-adequate monsoon rains in key producer states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
The benchmark mandi prices of tomato at Kolar in Karnataka stood at Rs 600 per quintal early this week, down 25% from a month ago. According to mandi officials in Kolar, supplies have been adequate and prices are expected to hold at the current level for the next few weeks.
However, mandi prices of potato in Agra increased 15% to Rs 1,550 a quintal. Traders say prices are expected to rise prior to the arrival of next year’s crop by October. Retail prices are in the range of Rs 25/30 a kg.
“Arrivals of tomato are expected to be robust in the next two months provided excessive rains in August do not adversely impact the yield,” Uday Deolankar, former adviser to the Maharashtra Agricultural Prices Commission, told FE. In June, mandi price was prevailing at more than Rs 3,000 a quintal, which pushed retail prices to Rs 90/100 a kg.
Heat waves during March-April in the key tomato-growing states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh adversely impacted production and pushed up prices across the country in June. Currently, retail prices are at Rs 30/40 a kg across major cities.
According to the second advance estimate of horticulture production in the 2021-22 crop year (July-June), tomato production is expected to decline by more than 4% to 20.34 million tonne (MT) compared to the previous year.
Meanwhile, benchmark mandi prices of onion (Lasalgaon, Maharashtra) have dropped 8% to Rs 1,151 a quintal early this week, compared to a month ago, because of a bumper output.
Onion production in the 2021-22 crop year is estimated at 31.7 MT, which is 20% more than the previous year. Retail prices are currently in the range of around Rs 20/22 a kg. In June, inflation for potato and tomato rose by 23.86% and 158.78%, respectively, while onion price inflation was down 20.74% on year. Tomato, onion and potato have weightage of 0.6%, 0.6% and 1%, respectively, in CPI inflation.