The rising mercury has led to a hike in prices of vegetables in the past few days due to falling supplies, say traders in Indore. Retail vendors have also hiked rates as losses of storing the perishable commodity are higher during the hot weather.
Prices of most vegetables have gone up by 20% to 30% in the last two weeks. Tomatoes that were available for Rs 20-25 per kg are now selling for Rs 30-40 per kg. Other vegetables, including sponge gourd, bitter gourd, okra and beans have also become dearer in the last fortnight.
“The trend is likely to reverse only after the onset of monsoon next month,” said Harish Sharma a trader in Choithram wholesale mandi. Similarly, prices of leafy vegetables such as spinach and fenugreek, which is sold in bunches, have also gone up, he said.
Sharma said that the supply of most vegetables is down by about 30% as compared to normal. Prices of other commodities, including potatoes have also climbed up. Wholesale traders do not rule out some profiteering by vendors who jack up prices to take advantage of the situation.
Tomato prices, for instance, vary between Rs 30 per kg and Rs 40 per kg, depending on the locality.
Manipulation by middlemen is also responsible for the sudden spurt in prices in the past few days. Wholesale traders claimed that middlemen take advantage of the shortfall in supply due to bad weather to manipulate prices.
Vendors are selling okra at Rs 40-50 per kg against Rs 30 per kg a few days ago. Traders say prices are unlikely to come down anytime soon and will largely depend on the supply.