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Chennai, July 1 – Last month, common man saw red in Tomato — not only its colour, but also its price as it touched the stars owing to lower production, said a report by Bank of Baroda.
The good news is that with the arrival of the July-November crop season, the prices may ease.
“On sequential basis, the average retail price of tomato went up by 38.5 per cent in June. On wholesale basis as well, tomato price rose by 45.3 per cent in the same period,” said Dipanwita Mazumdar, Economist at Bank of Baroda, in the report.
As per data, tomato production has moderated by 0.4 per cent from 20,694 (‘000 MT) in 2021-22 to 20,621 (‘000 MT) as per first advance estimates of 2022-23, the report noted.
“State-wise data reveal that Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Odisha account for 51.5 per cent of total production of tomato. For states such as Gujarat, production has fallen by 23.9 per cent, and for Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh, the drop in production is about 20 per cent,” the report said.
As the Rabi harvest season for tomato is December-June, the crop might be impacted due to heat wave or erratic rainfall, hence there is a sudden upward blip in prices.
“But with the arrival of July-November crop season, some easing of the trajectory might be seen,” the report noted.
The unanticipated price shock has resulted in an upswing in vegetable inflation.
The tomato price spiral is visible in months such as June, September and November; hence there is a seasonal trend in tandem with the harvesting and arrival of the vegetable.
The cycles of price increase are also short-lived not exceeding 4-5 months generally. Hence what comes as a comfort in this case is that, the current upswing may soon see a reversal with the arrival of fresh crop, the report said.