Rabi arrival, IMDs prediction help bring down food inflation

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: May 1 2010, 05:08am hrs
The arrival of the rabi or winter crop in mandis across the country cooled off food inflation for the week ended April 17 to 16.61% from 17.65% in the previous week.

Officials expect prices to go further down if India Meteorological Departments first forecast of 2010 southwest monsoon comes true. The department had predicted a normal monsoon has calmed aggressive speculative activities in the market.

Meanwhile, according to the data released on Thursday, food inflation dropped because of a fall in the prices of key agricultural commodities such as wheat, potatoes and onions.

An official statement said the prices of masur, fruits and vegetables and jowar went down marginally by 2% each, while that of wheat dipped by only 1% during the week over the year-ago period. However, the prices of moong (4%), urad and fish-inland (3% each) and arhar, condiments and spices, rice, maize, gram and bajra (1% each) went up.

On an annual basis, potato prices significantly declined by 28% on glut in supplies in various parts of the country and onions became cheaper by 10%. However, pulses remained expensive by about 30%, milk by 22% and fruits by about 10% over the last year.

According to a statement by the department of consumer affairs early this week, the rise in sugar prices during last two months, which had put the UPA government in great distress, either decreased or held steady across the country during the last week.

Edible oils, potato and onion prices also decreased at some centres and remained steady at most of the reporting centres. The prices of pulses, gram and masoor dal have decreased at some centres, while remaining steady at most of the reporting centers, the statement said

An FE analysis also showed that barring the marginal rise in rice prices in Delhi and Kolkata and the increase in tur dal prices by 6% to Rs 66 a kg in Bangalore during the last week, the prices of rice, wheat, tur dal, potato, sugar and mustard oil went down in the most of the key cities or urban centres.

In Kolkata, the retail prices of tur dal went down by more than 8.3% to Rs 60 a kg during the week.