India's retail inflation continued its rise in September to a five-month high of 7.41% year-on-year. Inflation in the food basket, which currently has a 50% share in retail inflation, rose to 8.60% in September as against 7.62% in the previous month. Erratic and unseasonal rains have led to a further rise in the prices of vegetables, cereals, and pulses. This scenario continued in October, with only prices of select vegetables softening in some parts of the country where they are grown, compared to last month.
LocalCircles conducted an India-wide survey that received over 22,000 responses from consumers located in 307 districts of India. Some 76% of households surveyed say monthly expenditure on vegetables has increased by over 25-100% in the last two years.
The first survey question asked respondents, "How much has your monthly household expenditure on vegetables changed from 2020 to 2022?" The findings revealed that 36% of households are now spending 25-50% more to buy vegetables. 31% of the respondents put the increased expenditure to 50-100% and 9% to over 100% increase.
Unless it is locally grown, vegetable prices vary according to the distance it has to be transported from the farm to the market as the transportation costs get added. Thus, the price of the same vegetable can vary from district to district.
To understand the prices paid in 2022 for vegetables like tomatoes, onions, and potatoes, the survey asked household consumers: "What best describes the per kilogram price that your household paid on average for tomatoes, onions, and potatoes this year?"
27% of the respondents said they bought tomatoes for INR 60 or higher, onions for INR 35 or higher, and potatoes for INR 30 or higher.
Of the total 12,563 respondents to the question, 23% revealed that they had paid INR 50-60 for tomato, INR 30-35 for onion, and INR 25-30 for potato. Another 7% of respondents bought tomatoes for INR 40-50, onions for INR 25-30, and potatoes for INR 20-25; in addition, 20% paid less for tomatoes INR 40 or lower, onions INR 25 or lower, and potato INR 20 or lower.
[ INR 100 = €1.20 ]