Tomato prices on six-month high, 15 kg-crate sells for Rs 900 in Madurai

In April, the prices of tomatoes ranged between Rs 100 and Rs 150 for every 15 kg-crate (Rs 10/kg). By mid-May, one crate of tomatoes cost Rs 500/kg (Rs 20 - Rs 50/kg).
With the logistics cost, vegetable prices, especially that of tomatoes, have only surged in the past two months.
With the logistics cost, vegetable prices, especially that of tomatoes, have only surged in the past two months.(Representative photo | Express)

MADURAI: In what is being termed as the highest surge in the price of tomatoes in the last six months, a 15 kg-crate of tomatoes was sold for a whopping Rs 900 at the wholesale market in Madurai on Thursday. The skyrocketing prices are a result of unseasonal rain in the district.

The streak of summer rain began in May and continues to hit production and supply of crops and vegetables in the district, among other areas. This has resulted in a dip in the arrival of vegetables in Madurai, rendering the region to rely on arrival from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra to meet daily demand. With the logistics cost, vegetable prices, especially that of tomatoes, have only surged in the past two months.

In April, the prices of tomatoes ranged between Rs 100 and Rs 150 for every 15 kg-crate (Rs 10/kg). When the input from local cultivators started dipping in May, prices have started to surge in Madurai wholesale market. By mid-May, one crate of tomatoes cost Rs 500/kg (Rs 20 - Rs 50/kg).

According to experts, local input went dry leaving the market to rely on other states in June. In the last few weeks, prices crossed Rs 800 for a crate, and hit Rs 900/crate (Rs 70/kg) on Thursday.

N Chinnamayan, president of central market all traders federation, said, "Usually, about 20 lorries laden with tomatoes arrive at the market daily, but at present only six lorries are bringing supplies fro, other states. The prices are likely to remain high, with the showers affecting the transportation, till the next harvest season in July - August."

On the flip side, Chinnamayan noted that the surge in prices has resulted in a dip in people purchasing tomatoes in massive quantities, thereby easing the demand. 

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