Vegetable market.IANS

The vegetable prices, that generally relax by this time due to the arrival of new Kharif crops, are refusing to come down after late monsoon downpour across caused a supply crunch across the country.

The early crops got damaged due to rains, according to a trader. 

Potato, tomato, cauliflower, spinach and other green vegetables are selling at around 50 per cent higher rates compared with the last winter season. Though tomato prices have come down considerably compared to last month, it was still higher than last year.

Onion, tomato and other vegetables, as well as oilseeds and pulses crops, were affected by October rains in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.  It has also led to a rise in prices of edible oil and pulses.

What does the data suggest?

As per the data presented by Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, in Parliament recently, onion prices have increased over 400 per cent after March.

Prices of onions rose from Rs 15.87 a kg in March to Rs 81.90 a kg on December 3, 2019, the data showed.

Onion stock at Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC), Yeswanthpur.IANS

According to the data, prices of rice, wheat, flour, pulses, edible oil, tea, sugar, jaggery, vegetables and milk have shown an upward trend this year. Even prices of wheat and rice increased by nearly 10 per cent.

The hike in prices of vegetables and other food items pushed the November retail inflation to 5.54 per cent from 4.62 per cent in October, highest since 2016. The consumer price index-based retail inflation was 2.33 per cent in November 2018.

As per the data released this week, vegetable rates went up to 35.99 per cent in November from 26.10 per cent in October. Food price inflation was 10.01 per cent in November.

Onion prices increased over 38 per cent in November. The average retail price of onion in the national capital territory increased from Rs 55 a kg on November 1 to Rs 76 a kg on November 30, as per the Department of Consumer Affairs figures.

Prices of potato and tomato too increased in November.

Priti Singh, a housewife in Greater Noida, said: "Onion has been bringing tears for the past few months, rise in prices of other vegetables has also affected my kitchen budget."

Prices of cauliflower, spinach and other green vegetables were ruling above Rs 50 a kg, she added.

As per the consumer affairs department price list, tomato prices were Rs 10-80 a kg on December 14 against Rs 10-50 a kg on the year-ago date.

According to Amit Shukla, a pulse market analyst, green vegetables usually become cheaper with the start of winter and impacts pulses demand. But that's not the case this year. As prices of most vegetables were still high, the consumption demand for pulses had not declined.

Meanwhile, edible oil prices have shot up considerably due to costlier imports of palm oil from Malaysia and Indonesia. Prices of crude palm oil (CPO) have increased over 15 per cent past month, which led to a significant rise in oilseeds and edible oil rates in India.

(With inputs from IANS.)