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Potato prices are getting more solid in Bengal, India

Potato prices are getting more solid in West Bengal, India

Potato prices are getting more solid in West Bengal, India

September 28, 2019
Potato prices in West Bengal have firmed up by nearly 9 per cent in the last two months, a development caused by a steady demand from neighbouring states. The tuber is currently fetching around ₹500 per 100kgs (€6.35), excluding all costs, as against ₹460 per 100kgs (€5.84) about two months ago.

According to Patit Pavan De, Past President, West Bengal Cold Storage Association, the unfavourable weather conditions in some of the southern States has impacted production of the tuber. This has helped boost demand for Bengal potatoes in these States.

Patit Pavan De, Past President of the West Bengal Cold Storage Association:

“The crop in Uttar Pradesh, which usually starts coming from September, does not look too good so far due to lack of favourable weather conditions. Bengal potatoes are finding good demand in Bihar, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Assam and Odisha.”

“The release from cold storage has improved and it is almost at par if not better as compared to same period last year. We expect the offloading to continue, steadily backed by a good demand during festive season.”
Bengal produced around 90-95 lakh tonnes of potato this year, as against around 100 lakh tonne in 2018. Close to 66 lakh tonnes of potato were stored in the 400-odd cold storages spread across the State this year.

Of this (66 lakh tonne), around 70 per cent or close to 46 lakh tonne of potatoes belong to farmers. Naturally, the firming up of prices would help farmers. A farmer typically spends around ₹500 to grow one quintal of potatoes. So with the current price increase he would be able to cover up the cost.

The industry is expecting prices to firm up further after Durga Puja that is by the middle week of October, backed by demand from other States. This will help farmers to make some gains.

Offloading

As much as 56 per cent of the stock from cold storage has been offloaded so far. Potato prices were ruling firm since the beginning of this season till June-end and the release from cold storages was going on in full swing.

However, price plummeted by nearly 50 per cent in July and offloading from cold storage had come down to 26 per cent, as against around 28-29 per cent in normal years.
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