Tomato prices could soften in December with arrival of fresh crop, says Centre


New Delhi: Tomato rates across the country have shot up in the past few days due to unseasonal rains. The Central government, however, is hoping the prices of the fruit to cool down from December with the arrival of fresh crops from northern states. 

“Tomato arrivals from north Indian states will start from the beginning of December itself, which will add to availability and lead to fall in prices. In December, arrival is expected to be at par with last year,” the Food and Consumer Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry added that retail prices of onions have substantially subsided below to the level that prevailed in 2020 and also 2019. Arrivals in November this year were only 19.62 lakh tonne compared to 21.32 lakh tonne in the year-ago period, it said.

The ministry also explained the reasons behind the sudden rise in the prices of tomatoes. The ministry said retail tomato prices have risen from September-end due to unseasonal rains in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. This led to crop damage and delay in arrival from these states.

In a statement, the ministry further explained that the delayed arrivals from north Indian states was followed by heavy rains in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka, which disrupted the supply and also resulted in crop damage. Also Read: Use Ola, Uber’s auto booking service? Get ready to pay 5% GST from next year

“Any slight disruptions in supply chain or damage due to heavy rains results in spurt in prices,” the ministry said pointing out that tomato price is highly volatile. “Conversely, bulk arrival and logistics problems have the potential of creating a situation of glut in the market and resultant dip in retail prices,” it added. Also Read: Black Friday sale in India: Check top offers on smartphones, laptops, electronics

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