This festive season, rains played spoilsport to crops, and fewer arrivals to the Koyambedu market have led to a hike in the cost of vegetables and fruits.
However, since the demand has been minimal and sales have only dipped by 30-40 per cent, wholesale prices have not rocketed very high.
The Koyambedu market, which usually bustles with activity, had fewer visitors on Wednesday than usual, as the market turned slushy and the produce was expensive. Traders said that every year, the festive season sales extend for about a week. But this time, rains shrunk the sale period to two days.
Every day, at least 1,000 vehicles transport vegetables from the market to various retail stores across the city. But only half that number of vehicles has visited the market for the past four days, S. Chandran, a wholesale trader said.
The number of lorries bringing produce to the market has also dipped owing to the downpour in the State and adjoining areas. Even on Wednesday, only around 300 lorries unloaded produce, compared to the usual 500 that come in daily.
Drumsticks and broad beans were the most expensive as the market received only 30 per cent of its daily share.
Many customers said they bought only those vegetables that were absolutely necessary and were surprised by the sudden spurt in prices.
M. Palani, who runs a retail vegetable shop in Peravallur, said that onions were priced at about Rs. 200 more per sack this week. One sack contains 150 kg. Cabbages, cauliflowers and tomatoes, however were still relatively affordable. Pumpkins too, are priced low this year.
Fruits are at least 40 per cent more expensive this season. S. Srinivasan, a wholesale fruits merchant said. However, bananas are cheaper this year, as more people have harvested.