Chennai

Vegetables turn pricey as supplies shrink

Prices of some vegetables are rising at the Koyambedu wholesale market for a few days now because of a shortage in supply.

Drumstick, being sold at ₹110 a kg, is now the costliest vegetable in the market. Wholesale traders said the vegetable was being received from Ahmedabad. Prices may dip in a fortnight when trucks from Chidambaram, Oddanchatram and Andhra Pradesh bring drumsticks.

Similarly, the prices of okra, onion and potato had shot up. While okra was sold for up to ₹60 a kg on Monday, onion was available for ₹40 a kg. A dip in arrivals from Maharashtra and Telangana had pushed up the prices. The lifting of a ban on onion exports this month had led to a slight increase in the prices, said P. Sukumar, treasurer, Koyambedu Vegetables, Fruits and Flowers Merchants’ Association.

“We expect better arrivals of onions and potatoes from February. Potatoes are costly by 10%-15% this week because of less production,” he said. However, most other vegetables are priced at less than ₹25 a kg in the wholesale market, and this trend may continue till summer. Although the number of trucks bringing vegetables to the market increased by 20% compared to December, traffic congestion, particularly on Mondays and weekends, deterred many retailers from making a purchase. This led to a drop in sales.

S. Chandran, president, Koyambedu Periyar Wholesale Market Licensed Merchants Association, said the arrival of beans and brinjal decreased by 50% on Monday. “Whenever the market opens after a holiday, vehicles have to wait for two or three hours. As one of the approach roads from Poonamallee High Road has been closed, traffic pile-up has become regular,” he said.

“About 2,500 retailers’ vehicles visit the market daily, apart from 400-450 trucks. Measures must be taken to regulate the vehicles’ movement and they must be allowed in batches, just like in Thirumazhisai,” he said,

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2021 9:26:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/shortage-of-supply-pushes-up-vegetable-prices-in-koyambedu/article33662955.ece

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