Chennai: Vegetable, sugarcane prices skyrocket ahead of Pongal

Traders told Express that sugarcane had started arriving at the Koyambedu market with a bundle costing around Rs 350 to Rs 400.

Published: 12th January 2019 02:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th January 2019 05:59 AM   |  A+A-

As Pongal is round the corner, Sugar cane harvestion is going on in full swing in Ettimangalam village near Melur in Madurai district. (EPS | K.K. Sundar)

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: For Pongal this year, prices of sugarcane and vegetables are likely to go up as supplies are dwindling and traders forecast that the minimum price of tomato could be above Rs 50 a kg, depending upon the availability.

Traders told Express that sugarcane had started arriving at the Koyambedu market with a bundle costing around Rs 350 to Rs 400. “We are getting only 10 to 15 trucks in the last two days and the arrivals may go up tomorrow,” said trader Sadagopan.

He said the prices are likely to go up since the tender price for space being allocated to sell sugarcane has gone up from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 10.5 lakh. However, he refused to speculate how much the price would rise. 

Sugarcane is considered as an indispensable part of Pongal and every Tamil household has sugarcane as part of celebrations. Interestingly, the prices of vegetables which are used for Pongal could also rise. Koyambedu Vegetable, Fruit and Flower Merchants Association president Thiagarajan said that the availability of tomatoes would depend on the supply. 

“We used to get 70 trucks but now only 45 trucks are supplying tomatoes,” he said. Abdul Qader, Koyambedu Vegetable Wholesale Merchants Association, told Express that vegetable prices were already spiralling with ladies finger, which was selling a week earlier at Rs 20 to Rs 50 per kg, having gone up to Rs 50 per kg  and it would be hardly surprising if it went beyond Rs 50 during the Pongal festival. He foretold that the minimum price of any vegetable would be Rs 30 per kg and above.

Stay up to date on all the latest Chennai news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp