Higher consumer prices expected for potatoes in India, says trader

Related imageAccording to Mr S.K. Gautam, CEO of NR Tradewind Services Pvt Ltd in Delhi, higher consumer prices for potatoes can be expected during the next four months in India. Mr Gautam says this trend is confirmed by several market sources and is indicative of the current scenario caused by heavy rains and floods across many regions in India. “The good to heavy rains in the states of Karnatka, Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh, besides the flood situation in Kerala, is expected to cause this trend since fresh and green vegetable availability will be very limited,” he says. “Heavy rains and floods will lead to a demand and supply gap especially in the southern region of India.” Mr Gautam also points out that the storage of potato was lower initially at the time of harvest compared to last year. “The estimated storage figures of the different states, for this current production year, was quite low compare to 100% storage last year,” he says. 

The estimated figures, according to Mr Gautam, are as follows:

1. UP 22% less storage compared to last year
2. West Bengal 4 % less
3. Gujrat 30% less
4. MP 20% less
5. Punjab 10% less
6. Bihar 30% less
7. Assam Odisha 20% less
8. Karnatak 50% less

The estimated average of potato storage was 77-78% compare to last year across the country. By the mid of August this year, about 38-39% of stored quantity at cold storages was marketed. This means about 35-38% stock will remain in the cold storages by the end of August and it has to cater to the market demand for the next four months.

The estimated figures of deliveries by the end of August 31, 2018 are estimated to be as below in different states, depending on market prices along with demand and supplies, according to Mr Gautam.

1. UP 44%+
2. West Bangal 48%+
3. Gujrat 60%+
4. MP 70%+
5. Bihar 50%+
6. Punjab+Haryana 46%+

The stored quantities include seed potatoes, which can be expected to take a share of 20-22%, although this year it may be higher side and estimated at 25-27% as the potato sowing area will increase compared to last year, due to the encouraging price trend.

Karnatka potato production stock is already exhausted, Mr Gautam says, and expected to cater for demand for the next 10-15 days only. On the other hand, potato planting is expected to be delayed in Punjab due to late maturity of paddy crop as last year. These factors will support to lead potato market prices in the days to come.

The current whole sale and retail prices in the market is running in Delhi at around Rs1600-2000/qtl, while in retail it is being sold Rs30-35 / kg depending on varieties and production sources.

Mr S.K. Gautam can be reached at skgautam65@gmail.com for further information.