1. Agriculture World

Tomato Markets Recover on Lowering Arrivals

Abhijeet Banerjee
Abhijeet Banerjee

Tomato markets are now turning hot. Wholesale prices had crashed to Rs 1-2 per kg in the month of May, but they are presently being offered for sale at Rs 40-50 a kg, in the Delhi and Mumbai’s wholesale markets. According to Mandi people heavy rains seem to bear a negative result over supply. As a result, prices have gone up. From supplying centres of Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka the daily supplies to the Delhi Mandi have dropped in last few days. Farmers have planted less area in recent months after prices crashed in May. The situation was such that most of the tomato growing farmers could not even recover their producing cost. Now there are reports of heavy rains have destroying crops in some of the growing belts of India.  

Major wholesale markets in the states of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh had witnessed prices crashing by nearly Rs.3-6 on a kg as per vegetable vendors at Azadpur mandi of Delhi. Farmers during that period had experienced heavy losses since their sale price was much lower their average cost of production. Prices crashed mainly due to arrival pressure of the summer planted tomato crop. It may be noted that the summer season tomato is grown in January-March and harvesting is done between April end and July.  


Lower arrivals favor Price Rise 

The daily arrivals from Maharashtra and Karnataka to Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have also got disturbed from heavy rains during June after cyclone Nisarga destroyed the crop. But farmers were able to replant the seeds therefore the supply problem reduced to some extent as the weeks progressed. Prices of tomato started improving from the last week of June, as summer season tomato arrivals started dropping gradually. Apart from falling arrivals, recent hike in fuel price hike has also attributed to increasing wholesale prices of tomatoes. Fuel price hike generally raises the cost of transportation to the mandis, leading to rise in selling price by the wholesalers. This situation is more prevalent in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand as per Delhi traders.  

Kharif Planting lower till now 

Trade sources also said that although prices may remain firm for next few weeks or months yet prices could fall after the newly planted Kharif season crop starts arriving in different markets. Approaching festival season may keep demand outlook better hence prices may remain stable to firm for next few months. The Kharif season tomato crop is transplanted from middle of June and the process continues till end of September. So it is quite possible that prices may start falling mid-November onwards when newly planted crop arrivals continue while festival related purchases start decreasing. Planted area has dropped by 40-50% for the Kharif season crop, as per market sources but whether the plantings can pick up one has to watch out. As prices are maintaining higher levels this time, it is quite possible that plantings pick up in upcoming weeks.    

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