While most of the vegetables continue to command high prices at both wholesale and retail markets, garlic, one of the important ingredients of the kitchen is available at around five-year low price. Currently, the price of garlic ranges from Rs 10 to 30 per kg in the wholesale market and even the maximum retail is under 45 per kg.
Traders say that due to recurring lockdowns, the majority of the hotels were closed and consumption of garlic was very low during that period. Even household consumption had come down owing to various reasons including a decrease in purchasing power.
With the arrival of a new crop, now traders are releasing old stock are a lower price. An administrative official from Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) in Vashi said that the average buying price of garlic at the wholesale market on Wednesday was Rs 22.50. “Garlic is available at even Rs 10 per kg which is around five years low price,” said the official.
In the same period last year, despite a good supply of garlic in APMC, the wholesale rate was above Rs 100 per kg and retail had touched Rs 200 per kg. The official, however, refused any artificial price rise during last year. “The new crop of garlic arrives by end of December. However, before that, the old stocks were almost exhausted and that’s why there was a rise in price,” said the official. He added that due to the second wave, hotels were closed and the consumption of garlic was very low. Hotels and restaurants are major buyers of garlic.
Abdul Shaikh, a trader at APMC Vashi said that demand from common people had also come due as many people were not stepping out of their homes and even their purchasing power was not as much as before the Covid period.
According to traders at APMC, Vashi, they receive garlic from Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and Punjab apart from Maharashtra. Normally, the average supply of garlic at APMC, Vashi is around 1000 quintals. In the last week, the pattern of supply is similar but as the traders are releasing old stocks, the price of the commodity has down sharply.