Tomato Inflation: The wholesale price of first grade tomatoes remained above Rs. 100 per kg in many parts of India till the last week of June
A sudden and sharp decline in the quantity of tomatoes brought to various mandis across India in the last week of June has created a demand-supply imbalance. This led to a sharp increase in the retail price of the staple vegetable. Tomato price has crossed ₹100 per kg In at least 50 cities on the last day of June, most of them in Uttar Pradesh, where the level of decline in volumes in mandis was relatively high compared to other states.
Chart 1 | The chart shows the model retail price of one kg of tomato in India over the last one month.
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Model price is the price at which one kg of tomato is most often bought in markets across the country in a day. In the first 24 days of June, the model price was ₹20 per kg. In the last week of June, the modal price increased to more than ₹50 per kg. It reached Rs 100 per kg on the last day of the month.
The reasons behind the sudden drop in the quantity of tomatoes brought into the mandis across India are varied. In general, the yield is affected due to relatively high temperature during summer. In addition, unusually heavy rains in the northern states also affected production. The fact that July-August is a low production period has added to the problem. Reports suggest that many farmers in Karnataka’s Kolar district switched to bean cultivation last year due to high prices of the vegetable.
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Chart 2 | This chart shows the quantity (in tonnes) of tomatoes brought to mandis across India in the last week of June between 2020 and 2023.
In the last week of June this year, 62,842 tonnes of tomatoes arrived in the mandis, which is the lowest in the last four years. In fact, it was 50% and 80% less than the quantity that reached the mandis in June 2022 and 2021, respectively.
Chart 3 | The chart shows the quantity (in tonnes) of tomatoes brought to various mandis across India in the last four weeks of June 2023. (There were five weeks in June 2023).
The chart shows that in the second, third and fourth week, the quantity fetched was at the expected level, but fell suddenly in the last (fifth) week. Compared to the second, third and fourth week of June 2023, the volume declined by 55%, 45% and 35% respectively in the previous week.
Chart 4 | The chart shows the sudden increase in the prices of tomatoes. It shows the average retail price of a kilogram of tomato in India in June between 2009 and 2023.
Despite a sharp increase in retail prices in the last week of June 2023, the average price of tomato was only ₹32.5, considering the significantly lower prices in the last three weeks. This was lower than the June 2022 average retail price of ₹52 per kg. The average price of June 2023 was also lower than the price of June 2019 and June 2016.
Chart 5 | The chart shows the quantity (in tonnes) of tomatoes brought to the mandis of the states in the last four weeks of June 2023. Data was not available from Tamil Nadu.
The quantity brought to mandis in Uttar Pradesh declined from 12,500 tonnes in the second week to 5,300 tonnes last week – a drop of 58%. This was the steepest decline in the states. Maharashtra recorded a decline of 52% while Andhra Pradesh saw a decline of 31%.
Map 6 | The map shows the average retail price of one kg of tomato on 30 June in Rs.
Prices touched or crossed the ₹100 per kg mark in 51 of the 473 cities analysed. Thirteen of these were in Uttar Pradesh. Ahmednagar in Maharashtra recorded the highest average retail price (₹123 per kg) among the cities considered. Bellary in Karnataka, Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh and Dhar in Madhya Pradesh are other cities where the retail price has crossed the ₹110 mark.
Source: AGMARKNET, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and National Horticulture Board
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