CHENNAI: Heavy rains in Chennai have impacted the prices of vegetables, including tomatoes and carrots, which are now costing over Rs 100 in retail stores. If rains continue, traders said the prices may skyrocket further.
While business is dull in Koyambedu Wholesale Market, the prices of vegetables keep soaring. President of Koyambedu Vegetable Wholesale Merchants Association S Chandran told TNIE the prices of vegetables have shot up as there have been fewer arrivals. Usually, 80 trucks of tomatoes reach the city every day but on Monday, only 40 trucks reached the market, he said.
Retail shops in and around Koyambedu are selling tomatoes at Rs 100. “A box of 12 kg tomatoes costs above Rs 1,000 today. So we are selling it above Rs 100,” says a retail trader. President of Koyambedu Vegetable, Fruit and Flower Sellers’ Welfare Association M Thiagarajan told TNIE the price of tomato is expected to go up due to its unavailability.
On Sunday, tomatoes were selling at Rs 60 to Rs 65 per kg and on Monday, it touched Rs 70. “On Tuesday, the price could go up by another Rs 5,” he said. Until fresh crops arrive from north India, the price of tomatoes will continue to rise drastically as the traders here are competing with each other to get the vegetable, added Thiagarajan.
A woman, who was bargaining with a shopkeeper, says if the prices go up then she has to think twice about using tomatoes in curry or rasam. “The prices have gone up drastically. I am finding it difficult to afford. My house owner gave me a Rs 50 note to buy a kg of tomato. How can I buy a kilo of tomato at Rs 50?” she asked.
Apart from tomatoes, the price of other vegetables has also gone up by Rs 5 to Rs 10, says Chandran. “Till the rains last, the vegetables will be costlier,” he observed. President of Kovai Thyagi Kumaran Anaithu Kaikari Viyabarigal Sangam M Rajendran said the supply of vegetables to the market was not a problem. However, sales dropped drastically. He attributed the sales drop to the festival holidays followed by rain in the region. The wholesale price of onion per kg has gone up to Rs 40 from Rs 30 four days ago, he added.