Wayward and excess rains have resulted in the ongoing spike in vegetable prices, and the cost of tomatoes will continue to be at elevated levels for two more months, Crisil Research said on Friday.
The situation in Karnataka, one of the major tomato growing regions, is so “grim” that the vegetable is being sent from Maharashtra’s Nashik, it said, pointing to on-ground interactions.
Crisil Research said standing crops have been damaged because of excess rains in Karnataka (105 per cent above normal), Andhra Pradesh (40 per cent above normal) and Maharashtra (22 per cent) which are key suppliers during October-December period.
Prices have risen 142 per cent as on November 25 and will remain elevated for two more months till harvest from Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan starts reaching the markets from January, it said.
At present, tomatoes are selling at Rs 47 per kg and the price will decline by 30 per cent once the fresh arrivals start, it added.
In the case of onion, the report said transplanting was delayed in the key growing regions of Maharashtra because of deficit rains in August which in turn delayed arrivals in October, leading to a 65 per cent increase in onion prices compared with September.
However, in the case of onions, fresh arrivals from Haryana are expected to start in 10-15 days which will cool the prices.
For potato, another rabi crop, sowing season has been hit hard because of excessive rains in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar and Gujarat, it said.
The researchers’ on-ground interactions suggest excessive water logging in the fields may warrant resowing of potato tubers, adding to the cost of farmers. If the heavy rains continue, prices will be higher for two more months, it said.
Prices of okra or lady finger will start easing in the next three weeks, it said, adding that heavy rains during sowing and early vegetation stage has been hit in production regions like Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.
Production of other vegetables, including capsicum and cucumber, has also been hit, it said.
“Net-net, any respite in vegetable prices in the short-term will be a function of how it pours from here. Hopefully, as the north-east monsoon beats a retreat, the worst may be over for vegetable prices,” it said.