MADURAI: Owing to the decline in the arrival of shallot stock from Mysuru, the vegetable's price has doubled in just 10 days and touched a new high of Rs 160 per kg at the wholesale markets in Madurai and Tiruchy. With the monsoon gathering pace in neighbouring states, the stock arrival to vegetable markets in Tamil Nadu has dipped by almost 50% in recent weeks.
The prices of tomatoes and chilli have still not fallen below the Rs 100 per kg mark. Besides, ginger and beans have also hit 'centuries' now. Though the prices began to skyrocket only last month, the price of shallots had remained comparatively high (over Rs 50) for the past several months as the supply chain had not fully recovered from the demand surge at the beginning of the year.
Traders from Madurai wholesale market said shallots cost above Rs 80 per kg throughout the month of June. But, within a week, it has jumped to Rs 140-Rs 160. Sources said, despite the high price, the quality of the stock seemed a bit off on Saturday. N Chinnamayan, president of the central market all traders federation in Madurai, told TNIE, "Owing to irrigation woes, the local cultivation suffered last season, leaving us to rely solely on cultivators in Dindigul and neighbouring states. This week, the stock has been arriving from Mysuru and Dindigul."
Expressing hope that the shallot price will fall in the next 10 days when the harvest season begins, Thangaraj, a trader from Madurai, said we will get a breather as the Tamil month of Aadi begins. "Also, shallots are not like tomatoes, chilli or ginger, which cannot be substituted while cooking. Shallots can easily be substituted by onions that cost only Rs 20-Rs 30 per kg now. So, the impact of shallot price hike on the public is critical," he added.