Potato prices likely to stay subdued over the next few months

Potato price ranges are probably to rule subdued over the subsequent several months, even though they have elevated by ₹100 a quintal considering that a thirty day period back as offloading of shares in warehouses has just begun.

“Cold storages in Bengal have just opened after the elections to the Point out Assembly ended. So significantly, potatoes had been coming right from the farmers’ fields. Storages had been shut owing to non-availability of labour,” stated Patit Paban De, potato chilly storage operator and former president of West Bengal Chilly Storage Affiliation (WBCSA).

Potato chilly storages might run out of house soon

At the moment, modal price ranges of the spud (price at which most trades choose area) are ranging from ₹850 in a variety of terminal markets in Uttar Pradesh’s Agra district to ₹1,250-one,270 in Bengal agricultural markets.

“Wholesale price ranges of potatoes are ruling at ₹10 a kg in places these types of as Gujarat, although in retail stores they charge double,” stated Ashish Expert, Senior Vice-President, Federation of Chilly Storage Affiliation of India (FCSAI).

“In Indore, markets have been closed for a thirty day period now. But potatoes are obtainable at ₹13-13.50 a kg and these retained in the chilly storages are obtainable at ₹15-fifteen.50 a kg,” stated Ajay Agarwal, a trader from Indore in Madhya Pradesh.

Potatoes in Madhya Pradesh are commonly priced greater as they are applied for chips, wafers and processing. “Stocks are total in warehouses in Madhya Pradesh as the generation is very good,” he stated.

Bengal’s potato output seen up by 16{bcdc0d62f3e776dc94790ed5d1b431758068d4852e7f370e2bcf45b6c3b9404d} on greater place, favourable temperature

Paban De stated that only thirty for each cent of the chilly storages had been open up in Bengal now and the rest would open up in a week’s time. “But we count on demand from customers to be very good this 12 months as there is chat of a shutdown to command the Covid pandemic,” he stated.

The 2nd wave of Covid, at present on throughout the place, has resulted in some States saying shutdowns and a variety of other curbs to deal with the pandemic’s distribute.

States these types of as Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have appear up with their personal programs of curbing the motion of individuals to command Covid.

“Many individuals are purchasing much more potatoes in planning for the shutdown. It has also resulted in price ranges growing,” Paban De stated.

However, FSCAI’s Expert stated these types of further purchasing was not getting witnessed in the western sections of the place. “People seem to be purchasing hand-to-mouth in Gujarat just to meet up with quick requirements,” he stated.

Also, the curbs this time to deal with Covid are not as stringent as last 12 months when transportation throughout the place experienced appear to a halt.

“There is no trouble with transportation this time. This has resulted in individuals not resorting to any stress invest in of potato,” Expert stated.

In addition, this time all over individuals had been purchasing much more citrus fruits these types of as lemon, oranges besides tender coconut, musk melon and watermelon, he stated.

Guru’s statements are in line with the price development for potatoes that was witnessed last 12 months. Throughout the very same time last 12 months, the spud’s price ranges had been ruling earlier mentioned ₹1,300 a quintal.

“People buy much more potatoes all through lockdown considering that they consume much more vegetables although at dwelling. It took place last 12 months and could occur this 12 months way too,” stated WBSCA’s Paban De.

Final 12 months, it resulted in greater consumption even as generation was reduce, pushing up price ranges to record levels in retail stores. Throughout November last 12 months, the spud’s price ranges dominated amongst ₹2,750 and ₹2,900 a quintal in important agricultural markets throughout the place, although they dominated in close proximity to ₹50 a kg in retail stores.

History generation

In accordance to the Ministry of Client Affairs, price ranges of potato are at present ruling at ₹19 a kg at retail stores in Delhi and ₹21 in Mumbai.

A important reason for price ranges ruling reduce this 12 months is that potato generation all through the current period (July 2020-June 2021) has been estimated at a record fifty three.eleven million tonnes (mt) in contrast with forty eight.56 mt a 12 months back.

In accordance to the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, generation is seen at a record large in view of the place beneath cultivation of the spud raising to two.twenty five million hectares (mh) from two.05 mh a 12 months back.

Throughout 2019-20, generation was reduce as the crop was impacted by unseasonal rains in the increasing places of States these types of as Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, although farmers also did not exhibit interest in view of lower price ranges then.

“The crop is very good and shares are large in chilly storages as generation in all States improved,” stated FSCAI’s President Mahendra Swarup.

“This 12 months, we never count on to make large financial gain as farmers could lock in their generate for a extended time period .Potatoes are all over the place. Scope for price ranges to transfer up like last 12 months is constrained,” he stated.

Expert stated that arrivals until now have been from farmers who experienced saved on their farms. “This will end in a 7 days and then only we can count on the shares to appear out completely from storages,” he stated.

“But we count on price ranges to continue being subdued considering that enough shares are obtainable,” he stated.

WBSCA’s Paban De stated farmers could have paid out at the very least ₹500 for each quintal to retailer the spud in chilly storages, such as loading and unloading expenses.

“They will have to get at the very least ₹1,300 a quintal for graded types like Jyoti to recuperate their costs. In any other case, they will find it challenging even to pay interest for the financial loans they experienced availed of,” he stated.

In view of greater generation, potato farmers experienced opted to retailer their generate in chilly storages. By mid-March this 12 months, nearly all chilly storages in Bengal had been stuffed to capability as farmers hoped to get greater price ranges later on.

“We are at present not witnessing any sharp increase in price ranges,” stated Indore trader Agrawal.