Explained: Why Tomato Prices Are Rising Across the Country

Tomato prices have shot up across the country in the last one month, government data showed
Tomato Leads The Price Hike Race
Tomato Leads The Price Hike Race

For tomato prices, it seems sky is the limit. All India retail prices shot up from Rs 35.15 to Rs 57.11 per kg within the last one month, as per a report of Price Monitoring Cell of Department of Consumers Affairs.

A 62 per cent hike in prices within a month is bound to put pressure on the pockets of people. Although Consumer Affairs Ministry says the situation is cyclical, people are turning red over increasing tomato prices.

The all-India wholesale prices have gone up from Rs 2,652.02 to Rs 4,537.92 in just a month's time. Food inflation has been a consistent problem for Reserve Bank of India in the last one year. While headline inflation has come down to 4.75 per cent from the high of 7.44 per cent in July last year, food inflation at 8.83 per cent remains a concern.

Why Hike in Tomato Prices

Extended summers, extreme heatwaves and delayed monsoon are adversely affecting both supply and demand of tomatoes. Data sourced from Statista suggests that India’s total domestic production of tomato has remained stagnant in the last few years. In financial year 2023, India produced 20.62 million metric tonnes of tomatoes. This is lower than the output in FY17 when the country produced 20.71 tonnes of tomatoes.

As monsoon is hitting most of the states, it has also disrupted the supply chain of tomatoes. Excessive rain in some areas has affected the transport, leading to a pause in supply and increase in prices.

"The supply from Himachal has gone down after heavy rainfall," Manoj Kumar, a vegetable trader told Economic Times. IMD has predicted heavy rainfall in Himachal Pradesh till July 7 which can further strain of Tomatoes.

It’s not Tomato alone which has seen a huge price rise in the last one month. Onion and potato are also witnessing huge price hikes.

Retail prices for onions have increased from Rs 32.66 to Rs 42.63, resulting in around 31 per cent increase. Potato prices have risen from Rs 30.19 and Rs 35.01, resulting in nearly a 16 per cent price hike.

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