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November 14, 2019

48pc to 450pc increase in vegetables prices in a year

Lahore

November 14, 2019

LAHORE:The prices of some essential vegetables are increased 48 percent to 450 percent year on year basis as the rates of perishables are touching to new heights due to flaw in policies and weak price control mechanism.

The official price of new soft skin potato on November 11, 2018, was Rs37 per kg which on November 12, 2019, reached Rs55 per kg, but sold at Rs70 per kg. Interestingly, the sellers are selling sugar-free potato at Rs70 per kg against its official rates Rs37 per kg only. The highest ever increase in price was witnessed in tomato prices of 450 percent which reached Rs165 per kg from official rates of last year Rs30 per kg only. The real increase is much higher than 450 percent as tomato is being sold at Rs200 per kg witnessing an increase of 566 percent. Tomato prices were increased due to multiple reasons, including crop damaged in Sindh due to October rains, besides slow supplies from Kabul and Swat. The crops of onion and tomato are badly hit due to unexpected rains in late September and October which damaged the standing crops of tomato and per acre yield of onion crops. In past, the Sindh tomato crop supplies started in late October to early November which is now delayed until early December as the farmers again cultivated the tomato crop which was early hit with the unexpected rains.

On Tuesday, only 22 trucks of tomatoes from Swat and one container from Kabul arrived in Lahore market against the average demand of 45 to 50 trucks. Thus, almost half of the supplies arrived against the daily average demand which were pushing the prices upwards. Further, weak price control management on the part of the provincial government failed to implement the price list rates in the city. This is further adding to the inflation. Second highest increase of 271 percent is recorded in onion rates which reached Rs78 per kg from the last year price of Rs21 per kg while it sold at Rs100 per kg. So if it is compared with consumer price the increase is even higher than 271 percent to 376 percent.

The onion crop of Sindh is also affected with the rain which resulted in almost 60 to 70 per decline in per acre yield. Previously, per acre yield of onion crop in Sindh was almost 120 bags which reduced to 35 to 40 bags. Additionally, the federal government did not stop the onion export while the onion crop in the region was already hit and India banned onion exports. The price of onion in India is currently ranging IRs95 to 100 per kg as onion crop also affected there too.

Further, Pakistan is exporting onion to India via Dubai, Sri Lanka, Qatar, and Middle East which is keeping the onion rates at higher sides. The price of Garlic China was stable at Rs95 per kg year ago has reached Rs260 per kg, but selling at Rs300 per kg while garlic local was at Rs70 per kg, which increased to Rs240 per kg registering an increase of 242 percent without any reasons and justifications.

Similarly, a year ago, Ginger Chinese was at Rs190 per kg, which now increased by 84 percent reaching Rs325 per kg but selling at Rs400 per kg. The price of brinjal was Rs22 per kg, which increased to Rs31 per kg, witnessed 40 percent surge. Official price of cucumber farm was Rs20 per kg, which increased by 70 percent reached Rs34 per kg, but sold at Rs50 to 60 per kg. Bitter gourd farm was at Rs45 per kg, reached Rs 52 per kg, selling at Rs70 per kg. Spinach was fixed at Rs18 per kg, which marginally reduced by Rs16 per kg, but selling at Rs30 to 40 per kg. The price of methi was fixed at Rs18 per kg, surged by 133 percent, reached Rs42 per kg, selling at Rs60 per kg.

Lemon Chinese was at Rs50 per kg, which reduced to Rs42 per kg, sold at Rs80 per kg. Pumpkin was at Rs23 per kg, reached Rs32 per kg, selling at Rs50 per kg. Green chilli was at Rs60 per kg, surged by 141 percent, reached Rs145 per kg, selling at Rs200 per kg.

Capsicum was at Rs70 per kg, reached Rs225 per kg registering an increase of 221 percent but selling at Rs280 per kg. Ladyfinger rate was Rs50 per kg, reached Rs63 per kg, selling at Rs80 to 100 per kg. Luffa price was Rs35, reached 60 per kg selling at Rs100 per kg.

Arum was at Rs28 per kg, surged by 135 percent reached Rs66 per kg, selling at Rs100 per kg. Carrot price was Rs35 per kg, reached Rs42 per kg, selling at Rs60 per kg. Cauliflower was Rs20 per kg, surged 60 percent, reached Rs32 per kg, selling at Rs50 per kg. Cabbage was Rs25 per kg, increased by 72 percent, reached Rs43 per kg, selling at Rs60 per kg. A year ago, pea price was Rs80 per kg, which currently reached Rs90 per kg, selling at Rs140 per kg. Mongray was fixed at Rs50 per kg, surged by 86 percent, reaching Rs93 per kg, selling at Rs120 per kg. Mustard leaves (Saag) was at Rs25 per kg, reduced to Rs22 per kg, selling at Rs30 to 35 per kg.

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