Pulse prices ease; edible oil, maize costlier

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New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) Even as government measures, including action against hoarders and boosting buffer stocks, have helped bring down wholesale prices of select pulses for the second consecutive day, the Consumer Affairs and Food Ministry on Wednesday said that there has been modest rise in bulk prices of edible oil and items like jowar and maize.

“After modest decline in Arhar prices on Tuesday, there have been reports of drop in Urad price by about Rs 300 per quintal in Wednesday’s trading. The fall in wholesale prices of pulses is good news and is largely due to increase in supplies of the commodities following government’s measures to check rising prices,” an official source said here.

In the national capital, Arhar and its Dara variety eased lower by about Rs 150 and Rs 200 to Rs 8,800 and Rs 11,600 per quintal respectively, while Moong drifted lower by Rs 100 each to the range of Rs 6,100-6,700 depending on varieties, sources said.

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The price of Urad and its dal Chilka local fell by Rs 300 each to Rs 10,500 and Rs 10,800 per quintal respectively.

But the ministry officials also got market report that the prices of edible oil increased by about Rs 100 per quintal in the wholesale market following increased demand from vanaspati mills.

“There are reports of increased demand from retail consumers and hence larger purchase by vanaspati mills. This is mostly seasonal for edible oil,” the source said, adding that there were shortfall in supplies from edible oil producing states also.

India imports edible oil worth an estimated Rs 1.3 lakh crore.

On average there has been a fall in production of edible oil from domestic sources. India imported 14.5 million tonnes of vegetable oil worth Rs 60,000 crore in year 2014-15. There has been also shortfall in edible supplies from countries like Indonesia and Malaysia due to low production there.

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The wholesale market on Wednesday saw increase in prices for groundnut oil, mustard oil and also palmolein and soybean refined.

The market also saw increase in bulk prices for jowar and maize by Rs 50 per quintal.

Traders say there has been restricted supplies in these items too along with sightly higher demand from consuming industries.

Quick government measures including actions against hoarders and increasing of stocks leading to “increased availability of the commodity” in the market had resulted in modest fall in wholesale prices of Arhar and a few other pulses on Tuesday as well.

“The drop in wholesale price is a matter of satisfaction as quick action from the government in coordination with state agencies have started showing results,” a source has said.

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Drought and long dry spell have resulted in shortfall in pulses production this year.

There has been an estimated seven million tonnes shortfall in the domestic production this year and the retail prices had in the last fortnight shot up as high as Rs 200 per kg.



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