Chennai: Consumers feel the heat as vegetables prices soar

Traders expect the prices to stabilise in Chennai after May 10 when fresh arrivals of vegetable is likely to improve the situation

Updated - April 23, 2022 10:27 am IST

Published - April 23, 2022 01:03 am IST - CHENNAI

The price of lemon has shot up to ₹200 kg at the Koyambedu wholesale market.

The price of lemon has shot up to ₹200 kg at the Koyambedu wholesale market. | Photo Credit: M. VEDHAN

Adding to the woes of consumers in the city who are reeling under the summer heat, the prices of several vegetables have begun to soar in the Koyambedu wholesale market. This had a cascading effect on the retail sector.

Wholesalers said it was normal for prices to go up during summer. But this year, the dip in yield had severely affected the arrivals in the city and led to spiralling cost, particularly for tomato, lemon and coriander leaf.

Normally, prices of lemon soar during summer and last year too the price touched ₹170 a kg. This April, price of one kg of lemon touched ₹200 kg.

The Koyambedu wholesale market gets 90% of lemons from Andhra Pradesh and the rest from within Tamil Nadu. However, this April, the market had not received daily stock from the State and there has been a fall in supplies from Andhra Pradesh.

Similarly, the price of tomato has been steadily shooting up ranging from ₹25 to ₹40 a kg in the wholesale market depending on the variety and quality.

Several other vegetables such as beans (₹40-₹70 per kg), broad beans (₹40-₹50 per kg) and gourd varieties were priced on the higher side. Coriander leaf, one of the key pantry essentials, was priced ₹150 a kg on Friday.

Drumstick, a seasonal vegetable, was priced at ₹8 to ₹10 a kg. Similarly, the prices of onion and beetroot have remained stable, said wholesalers.

P. Sukumar, treasurer, Koyambedu Vegetables, Fruits, Flowers Merchants Association, said on an average, the market received nearly 480 truckloads of produce daily. But the number had dropped to between 400 and 420 truckloads a day now.

“We expect the price to stabilise after May 10 when the harvest of the second crop arrives at the market,” he said.

Unsold stocks of vegetables like broad beans and tomatoes were dumped last month at the Koyambedu market as prices crashed. Members of the association said it was a daily business and such waste could not be avoided as cold storage facilities were inadequate.

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