Source: Business Standard
Last December, a surplus crop and insufficient storage and processing facilities led to such a steep fall in prices that farmers in Punjab dumped the crop on the roads in protest. Thereafter, with low rabi output from the key producer states of Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, a period of sharp price rise followed, from January to August, drawing reaction from the Forward Markets Commission. Currently, prices are off the peak of August but are significantly higher than last year’s level, showing high inflation. Wholesale prices are up, from an all-India average of Rs714.01 a quintal last December to Rs1,346.98 this month. Retail prices crossed Rs10 per kg in March and peaked at Rs18.58 in September, averaging Rs16.82 a kg. While prices may ease slightly as the new crop comes in now, there are pressures of high input costs of fuel and fertiliser that are still expected to keep prices firm.
IPM data till week ending December 22. The Indicus Price Monitor (IPM), a product of Indicus Analytics Pvt Ltd, tracks real-time wholesale prices of 62 agricultural products from more than 3,000 mandis. Due to differences in methodology, the IPM levels differ from the corresponding Wholesale Price Index (WPI). But, broad trends are in sync. (See Graphic)