Search
+

    Food items back to pre-Covid prices

    Synopsis

    Improvement in capacity utilisation at mills and in transportation, good stock with consumers and government distribution of food to the poor have helped reduce the pressure on both demand and supply sides for wheat, rice, pulses and edible oils.

    Agencies
    PUNE: Food prices have largely returned to their per-lockdown levels after shooting up in the first phase of the lockdown.

    Improvement in capacity utilisation at mills and in transportation, good stock with consumers and government distribution of food to the poor have helped reduce the pressure on both demand and supply sides for wheat, rice, pulses and edible oils, pulling their prices down.

    Imran Sharif, a rice processor and trader who supplies rice to South India, is worried about a sharp fall in demand.

    “First lockdown (till April 14) was very expensive for consumers as retailers sold food at the price of their choice. Now the buying has reduced. Prices of rice, though higher by Rs 2-3 a kg when compared to pre-lockdown period, have now dropped by 7-10% when compared to the period of the first lockdown,” he said.

    Nilesh Veera, a director of the Mumbai Agricultural Produce Market Committee in Vashi, said prices of daily essentials like wheat, rice, pulses and edible oils had returned to pre-Covid levels. “Wheat prices are down by 10%. With improvement in transportation, freight rates have come down, while the supply side has also improved,” he added.

    The ex-mill price of tur dal had increased to Rs 88 a kg during lockdown; now it is back to Rs 78. Moong dal is back to Rs 95 a kg from Rs 120 during the first phase of the lockdown, while chana dal now costs Rs 50 a kg, slightly up from Rs 48 before the lockdown but lower than Rs 57 in early April.

    Traders and millers are worried about a substantial slowdown in demand for food since last week. After the panic buying during the first phase of the lockdown, people now have enough stock of food with them.

    Despite good availability of wheat in the country, prices of wheat and atta had jumped during the early part of the lockdown. Demand for maida, which is consumed mostly in hotel and bakeries, had dropped sharply. Prices of rava or suji, a by-product of maida, however shot up.

    Opening of mandis has now increased availability of wheat at cheaper prices for processors and has thus helped cool the prices of atta and suji.

    “We did not get wheat from Madhya Pradesh during the first two lockdowns. Now it is available more than demand at lower rates,” said Gaurav Mantri, the proprietor of Ginni Agro Products.

    Pumping of large quantities of food grains into the public distribution system by the government has led to a drop in open market demand for cereals and pulses, claimed traders and processors.

    “Distribution of pulses by government through the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana has reduced demand for pulses in the market,” said Nitin Kalantry, a pulses processor from Maharashtra.

    “Government has pumped so much food into the PDS system that it is not able to handle it and it is finding its way out of the system,” Roller Flour Millers Federation of India president Sunjay Puri said.

    (Catch all the Business News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on The Economic Times.)

    Also Read

    1 Comment on this Story

    KAMAL 73 days ago
    Government managed supply line efficiently Had Congress would be in power the price have sky rocketed and blavk amrketing
    The Economic Times