By India Today Business Desk: Tomato prices are at an all-time high, selling at Rs 160 per kilogram in retail markets across Mumbai. The situation is the same in most parts of the country, where tomatoes are being sold at a sharp premium over their usual rates.
The sudden and drastic surge in tomato prices has had a profound impact on millions of households across the country, exerting financial strain on their budgets or compelling them to curtail their consumption.
To put the price rise into perspective, a single tomato now costs close to what a kilogram would have a few months ago.
Delayed monsoon, inadequate production and extreme heat have been cited as key reasons behind the increase in tomato prices across the country.
As the situation stands, tomato prices are rising rapidly, and traders expect the rates to continue increasing. Some Mumbai traders, quoted in a Times of India report, said prices could reach Rs 200 per kilogram over the next two days.
But is there any chance of prices coming down in the near future? Experts have stated that this would depend on when the Kharif tomatoes are released into the market.
However, the transplantation process has just begun with the arrival of the monsoon. This means that the Kharif tomatoes are unlikely to be available on the market before mid-August.
In such a scenario, tomato prices are expected to remain high across the country, unless the government takes steps to provide relief in the form of subsidies.
Around five days ago, the government stated that the current surge in tomato prices is due to a seasonal phenomenon and that prices are likely to decrease within the next 15 days and normalise within a month.
The situation is dependent on factors such as the progress of the monsoon and the release of Kharif tomatoes into the markets.