After a long period of upswing, the price of rice has started declining in the retail market.

The best quality of boiled rice (Karnataka Ponni) is being sold at Rs. 40, which was priced at Rs. 47 per kg about a week ago. The price of same variety of rice (new) hovers around Rs. 36, down from Rs. 40. Similarly, the price of raw rice (Karnataka Ponni) is Rs. 48 per kg, which was being sold at Rs. 52 a few days ago. The new arrival of same variety is priced at Rs. 40, say retailers. The price of ADT 39, commonly used for preparing idly and related dishes, has also come down. One kg of ADT 39 (old) has dropped by two rupees to Rs. 30 compared to last week. The new arrival is available for Rs. 25.

“The downward trend in price of rice is the first time in recent years. It is a welcome relief for customers. Initially, the price of rice used for preparing idly varieties came down. Now, the other varieties have joined the list,” says A. Raja, a retail trader in Lawspet.

He said the arrival of new paddy was among the reasons for the declining trend in price rice. Market sources attributed the decline to the arrivals from Odisha, West Bengal, besides Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The traders and hullers were expecting the price to go up by at least Rs. 5 to 8 per kg of rice during this season due to the failure of Southwest monsoon. However, the harvest was not that bad as expected. Moreover, traders from North India had also influenced the price by sending paddy.

Traders are still cautious as they think it was a temporary phenomenon. The price would start moving up from June once the market stagnates. Meanwhile there is no let up in upward trend in prices of Basmati rice varieties which has increased by an average of Rs. 16 per kg. Similarly, the price of Seeraga Samba rice has gone up to Rs. 80 from Rs. 52 per kg.