Tomato prices are expected to retail below Rs 100 per kg as the wholesale rates have come down more than 30 per cent at a leading tomato market in Maharashtra, which supports tomato supplies during the August-December period, The Economic Times (ET) has reported.
As vegetables reach the retail part of the sales, the prices are usually double the wholesale rates. The cost of transportation, market handling charges, middleman commissions, and retail margins make rates double or sometimes even higher as vegetable produce reaches the final consumer.
Officials told the newspaper that the supply of tomatoes in the past week has increased six times at the Pimpalgaon Baswant market in Nashik, Maharashtra. Major markets like Bengaluru are also seeing a similar trend, the report said.
A few small regions like Narayangaon, Nashik, Bengaluru, and the foothills of the Himalayas have become the lifeline for tomato suppliers to the country during the monsoon season. The Nashik belt supplies tomatoes to the country during the August to December period.
The average price of tomatoes at the Pimpalgaon market on Wednesday, August 16, stood at Rs 37 per kg, whereas the highest price was Rs 45 per kg. This is a substantial fall from the prices a week ago, which stood between Rs 57 per kg and Rs 67 per kg, the ET report said.
Quoting a wholesale trader of tomatoes, Minaz Shaikh, the report added, "Tomato prices will continue to decline in the coming days as arrivals are rising fast." The arrival has increased not only in Nashik but also in Bengaluru, Shaikh said.
The wholesale prices of tomatoes arriving in Delhi have also seen a decline from this year's high of Rs 4,000 per crate to around Rs 1,500 per crate, the ET report cited traders as saying. A crate of tomatoes has 28-30 kg of produce.
However, traders and wholesale markets officials have registered a drop in onion supplies as farmers have begun holding the crop expecting a price rise, the ET report said.