KARACHI: Tomato prices hit Rs320 a kilogram on Saturday, sending a shockwave to consumers with a massive jump from Rs160 per kg in a single day.
More bad news was on the cards for consumers as greengrocers said that onion prices in the wholesale market on the Superhighway had reached Rs75-80 per kg from Rs60 in just one day.
“Only two consumers bought half a kilo of tomato each out of 12 to 15 customers as most of them purchased 250 grams because of the high rates,” said a vendor in FB Area, adding that consumers received a shock after hearing tomato prices. He blamed the hike on the soaring wholesale rate of tomato to Rs260-270 per kg from Rs120-140 on Friday.
He was of the view that the arrival of tomato from Quetta and Swat had slowed down drastically over reports that the winter wave had affected the tomato crop.
City govt has quoted Saturday’s consumer price of Rs199 per kg for tomato; item unavailable at this rate in the metropolis
The city government had quoted Saturday’s consumer price of Rs199 per kg for tomato which was Rs147 on Friday. However, neither tomato nor any other such items were available at official rates in the city.
Yet there is some stability in the prices of other vegetables such as capsicum, whose price dropped to Rs240 from Rs280-320 per kg of last week.
Tinda (apple gourd) price remained unchanged at Rs100 per kg while bottle gourd (lokki) and ridge gourd (turrai) came down to Rs60 and Rs60-80, respectively, from the previous prices of Rs100 and Rs160 per kg.
Brinjal was selling at Rs60 per kg while cauliflower, cabbage, carrot and turnip were priced at Rs60-80 per kg, whose prices came down by Rs20-40 per kg.
The president of the Falahi Anjuman Wholesale Vegetable Market New Sabzi Mandi, Haji Shahjehan, said the arrival of Iranian tomato had also come to a halt followed by slow arrival of Balochistan crop. Some quantity of it was also coming from Kabul which had also stopped. While disagreeing with Rs276-270 per kg wholesale rate at the mandi, he said vegetable dealers quoted very high wholesale rates to justify their retail price as tomato’s actual wholesale rate on Saturday was Rs220 per kg.
He said onion’s wholesale rate swelled to Rs75 from Rs60 following suspension in arrival of the Iranian variety.
Haji Shahjehan said Sindh’s tomato crop had been delayed, which used to arrive in October every year. However, the new crop would find its way into the market after the third week of this month.
He said the Sindh onion crop had started arriving in a low volume but it would improve after 15-20 days.
Surprisingly, export of onion is also going on at a very high wholesale rate of Rs75 per kg since Indian onion is not finding its way into some Far Eastern countries, Sri Lanka etc. In these destinations, Pakistani onion is being sent regularly, he said.
Published in Dawn, November 10th, 2019