Source: Business Standard


The rise in inflation in masur dal or lentils reflects the steep increase in prices during the April-August 2012 period. High prices were last seen in this market in the second half of 2009, when wholesale prices averaged Rs.5,550 per quintal. Through 2010 and 2011, prices were lower, ranging between Rs.3,800 and Rs.4,700 a quintal. Currently, though prices at Rs.4,943 are slightly down from the August peak of Rs.5,027 a quintal, there is sustained pressure from low expected domestic output this year. In November, the government approved a 14% hike in masur MSP to boost production, but sowing so far has been marginally lower than last year.

Though imports from Australia and Canada can help keep a cap on any significant spurt in the price, there are also supply pressures coming in from Canada. So, prices are not likely to go back to the levels seen two years. ago.

IPM data till the week ended February 2, 2013. The Indicus Price Monitor, a product of Indicus Analytics Pvt Ltd, tracks real-time wholesale prices for 62 agricultural products from about 3,000 mandis across the country. Due to differences in methodology, the actual levels of IPM differ from the corresponding WPI. However, broad trends are in sync with each other.