Onions, tomatoes, pulses bump up veggie plate prices by 12% in December

Crisil’s monthly report on food plate costs indicates consumer food price inflation may have risen beyond November’s 8.7% pace; NSO to release December retail inflation print this Friday

Updated - January 08, 2024 10:02 pm IST

Published - January 08, 2024 08:44 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Representational photo

Representational photo | Photo Credit: SUBRAHMANYAM CV

In an indication that food inflation pressures may have worsened in December, the cost of putting together a vegetarian food plate shot up 12% year-on-year last month, compared with 9% in November YoY, as per a monthly food plate costs’ tracker compiled by Crisil Market Intelligence and Analytics.

The primary source of food inflation in December were onions and tomatoes, which recorded price spikes of 82% and 42%, respectively, while pulses prices accelerated 24% from December 2022 levels. India’s overall consumer prices had risen at a three-month high pace of 5.55% in November, while food price inflation had surged to 8.7% owing to steeper price rise in vegetables, pulses, fruits, and sugar. The Consumer Price Index for December will be released by the National Statistical Office on Friday.

According to Crisil’s research, a typical vegetarian food plate, which includes rotis, vegetables, rice, dal, curd and salad, cost ₹29.7 in December, about 3% lower than November, but still the second steepest in four months.

The sequential easing in vegetarian plate costs was due to a 14% and 3% on-month decrease in prices of onion and tomato, respectively, with the festive season coming to an end, the firm said on Monday.

By contrast, the average price of a typical non-vegetarian plate, which replaces the dal component in a vegetarian Thali with chicken, however, dropped 4% from December 2022 levels. This was attributed to a 15% dip in prices of broilers which account for about 50% of a non-vegetarian plate cost.

With broilers’ production high, their prices fell 5% to 7% on a month-on-month basis, bringing the average non-vegetarian plate’s cost down 5% to ₹57.6 from ₹60.4 in November 2023.

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