Aided by a brief lull in supplies, prices of some vegetable items have gone up. Tomatoes, selling at between Rs.50 and Rs.60 a kg in the retail market here, lead the pack of more costly vegetables.

Wholesalers said that there was no substantial reason for the current spiral and described it as temporary. Secretary of the Market Stall Owners' Association N. H. Shameed said that the price of carrot and cauliflower too had gone up in the recent days.

He said that some of the produce arriving here from Ottanchathram were damaged by the rains that have hit some parts of Tamil Nadu. More than 70 per cent of the vegetables arriving here at the wholesale market are imported from locations like Sathyamangalam, Mysore, Bengaluru and Mettupalayam. Heavy rain over the weekend had resulted in crop damage in some of these places and carrots and tomatoes were the worst hit as they cannot be normally be preserved for more than a day.

Though tomatoes were selling at Rs.35 a kg in the wholesale market, the extent of damage to consignments had pushed up the retail price beyond Rs.50 in some places.

Carrot was selling at Rs.32 a kg in the wholesale market and at Rs.40 a kg in the retail market. Price of cauliflower had moved up too. The produce was selling at Rs.25 a kg in the wholesale market and at Rs.30 a kg in the retail market.

Wholesalers here said that the price situation was expected to ease within a fortnight with supplies expected to improve once the rains abate.

According to figures from the Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam, items like bitter gourd, beans and drumsticks were among the more costly vegetables this week.

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