Hold your breath! Garlic now costs Rs 160 per kilo

After the skyrocketing prices of onions and tomatoes brought tears to our eyes, it’s now the turn of the humble garlic to give us grief. In the last few days, garlic prices have hit the roof. The commodity, which was available for Rs 120 per kilo, now costs Rs 160 per kilo. Traders attribute the price hike to flash floods in Gujarat that destroyed a major portion of the produce resulting in less supply at the Agricultural and Produce Market (APMC) in Vashi over the last few days.

Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

Every day, about 10-12 trucks of garlic from Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan enter the APMC Market. However, since few days, only four trucks of supplies have been coming. Rajendra Bhakt, a wholesale trader from APMC market, said, “The recent flash floods that occurred in Gujarat destroyed a portion of the commodity.” Traders said that people prefer garlic buds from Gujarat and Rajasthan as it is easy to skin and use them. In the retail market, too, a definite price rise was observed. “Shortage of supply is the main reason for the sky rocketing prices. As a result, now people are buying less quantity of the commodity,” said Pramod Ranade, a retailer from Vashi.

Wholesalers are also worried that the new crop of garlic, which usually enters the market by mid-January, might come in late this year. This year due to heavy rains, the sowing of garlic has been delayed by a month. “Usually garlic is available for Rs 85 per kilo, but last week wholesale rates had touched Rs 100. We are worried that if the new crop comes in by February end or the beginning of March then we would have to pull off with the existing crop. Consequently, prices could rise again,” said Bhakt. 

Quintal arrival at APMC: 320
Retail rate: Rs 160 a kilo

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