Tomato selling at Rs. 40 a kg; expected to go up further

A supply squeeze in major producing centres in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka saw tomato price going up sharply here at the wholesale market as price of big onions came down significantly on increased supply on Monday.

On Monday, tomato was selling at Rs. 40 a kg, and even at Rs. 45, in the retail markets here with wholesale price going up to Rs. 35, said General Secretary of Ernakulam Market Stall Owners' Association N. H. Shameed.

He said that the market perception was that the price of tomato would go up further on the following days because of the squeeze in supply. Tomato was selling at Rs. 25 a kg at the week-end.

Wholesalers said that the arrival of tomato too had shrank at the Ernakulam main market. The arrival on Monday was just three loads in place of the usual supply of six loads, market sources said. Wholesalers were also not taking supply because of a perception that price would move up further.

Their apprehensions were triggered by reports that at the auction centre in Hosur, Karnataka, tomato was selling between Rs. 1,000 and 1,050 for a 30-kg lot. The cost goes up to Rs. 1,150 for a 30-kg lot when it reaches Ernakulam.

The best quality big onion was selling between Rs. 60 and 62 in the retail market, down from the previous week's high of Rs. 80 a kg. Lower quality produce was selling as low as Rs. 40 a kg, retailers said.

Potatoes were selling at Rs. 20 a kg in the retail market; ginger at Rs. 30 a kg and green chillies at Rs. 30 a kg. Beans was selling at Rs. 40 a kg and carrot at Rs. 45 a kg.

Meanwhile, the 10-day sale of vegetables by Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam (VFPCK) ahead of Christmas touched a total volume around 115 tonnes worth Rs. 29 lakh, helping to rein in vegetable prices to some extent.

VFPCK opened two stalls, one in Kochi and the other in Thiruvananthapuram on December 15. Sales in Ernakulam touched 75 tonnes worth Rs. 19 lakh.

A spokesman for the Council said that about 60 per cent of the vegetables sold through the two stalls were sourced from farmers' groups under the Council spread across the districts of Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Kottayam, Thrissur and Idukki.

Around 27,000 customers visited the VFPCK stalls during the 10-day period. The State Government spent Rs. 12 lakh to provide 20 per cent on the vegetables sold through the stalls during the 10-day period.

  • Only three lorryloads of tomatoes arrive instead of the usual six
  • VFPCK sales in Ernakulam touch Rs. 15 lakh since December 15