Delayed harvesting means some crops are still being harvested in Bengal. Potato prices, which have increased by nearly 45 per cent in the last fortnight, are likely to remain firm going forward, on the back of an estimated drop in production and large-scale stocking by consumers in West Bengal.
Prices usually witness a softening trend at the time of harvesting, which typically gets completed by March-end. The arrival of the new crop brings down prices. However, this year has been different.
The wholesale price of potato (Jyoti variety) is currently ruling at around ₹1,600 per 100 kgs, almost 45 per cent higher than ₹1,100 reported in the second week of March. Retail prices are also ruling firm, with Jyoti fetching close to ₹20-22 a kg (₹16-18 a kg in early March) and the better quality Chandramukhi potato earning ₹25-26 a kg (₹22 a kg).
Apart from the recent spurt in buying, estimated lower production in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab this year has also led to a higher demand for potatoes in Bengal. Prices are likely to stabilise to around ₹1,300-1,500 per 100 kgs in April; in May again, there is expected to be a marginal increase once the potatoes kept in cold storage start arriving into the market, sources said.
[ ₹100 = €1.27 ]