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After onion, consumers cry for tomatoes.

New Delhi, Jan. 18 -- As consumers wait for prices of onion to cool from Rs50-60 a kg in retail, another important vegetable, tomato, continues to rule high at Rs 60 a kg in the national capital due to supply crunch as well as export of the commodity to Pakistan.

Tomato retail prices which had zoomed to Rs70-80 a kg in retail on Saturday last saw a marginal slide today at Rs60/kg, traders said. The wholesale price of the veggie is Rs15-30/kg in Azadpur (Asia's biggest wholesale fruits & vegetables market) today, general secretary Tomato Merchants Association Subhash Chuk said. The wholesale price is continuing at this level for around last one week, he added.

Other metros too are not being spared. Tomato is costing Rs50/kg in Mumbai in retail while it stood at Rs35 per kg in Kolkata and Rs40 per kg in Chennai.

Chuk attributed soaring of tomato prices in Delhi to supply crunch to the tune of 40% and also export of the commodity to Pakistan. "Arrival of tomato is almost 40% less now days from the feeder states of Gujarat, Haryana, Uttrakhand and Rajasthan where the crop are not ripening because of winter chill," Chuk added.

Besides, even amid restricted arrival of the crop, traders in the national capital are sending about half of the quantity (they are acquiring) for export to Pakistan. "Out of a total of 20-30 trucks of tomato (each carrying 10 tonnes) arriving in Azadpur daily, almost 10-15 vehicles are dispatched to Pakistan through Attari-Wagah border everyday," Chuk said.

Besides Delhi, tomatoes are entering Pakistan directly from Amritsar, Jaipur, Ratlam and Ahmedabad in lure of handsome cash. Vice-president of Amritsar Exporters Association Rajendra Singh Uppal said that almost 30-35 trucks load of tomato are going to Pakistan through Attari-Wagah border daily.

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Publication:Asian Tribune (India)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Jan 18, 2011
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