Consumers of rice can expect prices to drop considerably over the next month. Pune rice traders say the fresh crop from the North will flood the city market by mid November,which will bring prices down by at least 20 per cent.
We expect a good paddy crop. In June and July,it looked like the crop would be poor because of erratic rainfall,but the situation has improved since. September saw good rainfall, said Rajesh Shah,rice trader.
The broken Basmati and Kolum are among the popular varieties of rice in Pune. Over the last two months,Basmati has become Rs 100 per kg,broken Basmati (Basmati tukda) is Rs 60 now,while the Kolum rice from Gujarat costs Rs 40 now.
More than 75 per cent of the rice we sell is Basmati broken. By November end,we expect the prices to come down by Rs 20 to Rs 25. Even the price of Kolum will drop by Rs 10 per kg, Shah said.
Another popular variation of the Basmati,the Mogra,priced between Rs 35- Rs 45 per kg,is a little less expensive. It will also see increased supply after mid November; traders say this will reduce prices significantly.
Since September,supply of varieties from Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh has been hit after the fields were inundated following the rains. Non-Basmati varieties of rice like Dash,Masuri and Sona Masuri have become more expensive. The prices of these varieties had touched up to Rs 20 per Kg,after the floods. Andhra Pradesh reaps a paddy crop every three months,so the supply of the southern varieties should increase in three months, said Rajesh Phulpagar,another rice trader.
Rice is among the items supplied at PDS shops. Activists say that if the government ensured supply of rice at the Public Distribution Shops (PDS),they could have,long ago,controlled the prices of rice. The rice prices have touched astronomical figures. The government could have reined in the price of rice in the open market,if they had ensured supply at the PDS shops,which is not happening, said Kiran Moghe,president of Janwadi Mahila Sanghatana.
In the open market,prices of pulses,however,will continue to remain high. Last week,prices of most pulses went up by another Rs 5 at the wholesale market. Moong dal and tur dal are now selling almost at the same rate at around Rs 85 per kg at wholesale. Urad dal is nearly Rs 70 per kg at wholesale,while masur dal continues to remain at Rs 55 per kg.
Prices of pulses can come down only if the government imports large quantities for domestic consumption. However,the scenario will be clear only after December, said Jitendra Nahar,pulses trader at the Gultekdi wholesale market.
Meanwhile,tur dal supply at the PDS shops continues. Pune district needs 1,700 tonnes of tur dal,but in September only 700 MT tonnes was sanctioned. District officials say the lifting of tur dal for September distribution is on. For October,Pune has been sanctioned 1,100 tonnes,said deputy collector Ravindra Kulkarni.
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