Tomato price surges to Rs 110 per kg

Almost after five years, tomato prices skyrocketed to Rs 110 per kg at Koyambedu, thanks to the summer showers affecting farm productivity. The market received only 30 vehicles of tomatoes from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.
Tomato price surges to Rs 110 per kg
Representative image

CHENNAI: Tomatoes are back in the news making headlines and had reached an all time high with the cost escallating to Rs 110 per kilo, something unusual for the month of May, admit traders in Koyambedu wholesale market.

Almost after five years, tomato prices skyrocketed to Rs 110 per kg at Koyambedu, thanks to the summer showers affecting farm productivity. The market received only 30 vehicles of tomatoes from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. Traders and farmers stated that it would take at least a month for the prices to normalize, sources said.

Representative image
On par with fuel, tomato prices in Koyambedu burn hole in pockets

Heavy spell during the summer season happens only once in five years.

Earlier, in 2005, 2010 and 2016 there was a shortage in the supply leading to surge in prices by 10 – 20 percent, where tomato was sold for Rs 80 per kg in Chennai city.

“Last 15 days, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka witnessed heavy showers, where the tomato crops were completely damaged. The market received 30 vehicles of tomato for the past few days against 90 truckloads from AP, Karnataka belt, and from TN – Madurai, Theni and Thenkasi, ” said P Sukumaran, Treasurer, Koyambedu Wholesale Merchants’ Association.

“It was sold for Rs 10 per kg in February, the tomato prices gradually increased due to shortage in supply from April. Currently, the tomato is sold for Rs 110 per kilos, and at retail shops it is Rs 120 per kg, ” he added.

Usually, the watery vegetables such as cucumber, bottle gourd, snake gourd, and chow chow see an uptrend during summer season. With an abnormal surge in tomato prices, customers hesitate to purchase like before. The sale has been impacted at least by 50 percent in the market ever since the tomato rate increased. For instance, vendors who purchase five boxes of tomatoes now buy one box.

“Unlike other vegetable seasons, it is difficult to predict when the prices are expected to decrease. Because the weather centre forecast heavy rains to continue in the neighbouring states for the next few days. Tomatoes do not require adequate water, which leads to crop damage. It will take at least a month for the prices to normalize, ” said P Muthuraj, a farmer from Tenkasi.

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