Why Are Tomato Prices Turning Red Hot?

The price of tomatoes in India has shot up due to a limited supply, causing worry among consumers and traders.

What Happened: Tomatoes are now retailing for ₹80 per kg in some markets due to heavy rains in Himachal Pradesh, which is a major supplier of vegetables to North India. The rains have damaged the road network in this Himalayan state, thereby reducing supplies to major consumption centres, The Economic Times reported. 

The average retail price of tomatoes reached ₹55 per kg on July 3, up from ₹35 a month earlier, according to the price monitoring division of the Consumer Affairs Ministry.

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The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has further forecasted heavy rainfall in tomato-growing regions of Himachal Pradesh until July 7. IMD in its weather forecast said the downpour could cause landslides and mudslides, disrupting roadways and traffic. It is likely to contribute to further price increases.

The abrupt increase in tomato prices has left consumers and traders anxious, as tomatoes form a crucial part of Indian cuisine. A shortage could disrupt daily meal preparations in households across the country. The authorities have not yet commented on the situation or suggested any solutions to address the issue.

Last year, excessive rainfall and flash floods caused tomato prices to cross ₹350 per kg in certain retail markets. This prompted the fast-food chain McDonald’s to temporarily cease using tomatoes in some Indian outlets due to insufficient quantities meeting their quality standards.

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