Moong, urad dal prices soar in city

It was tur dal that was expensive at Rs 90 per kg so far, but moong dal and urad dal have also become dearer now with the prices going up in the past two weeks. In the retail market, moong is available at Rs 85–Rs 90 per kg, while urad dal is at Rs 65-70 per kg.

Traders say demand for these pulses continues to outstrip supply. By this time of the year, Pune gets moong crop from Karnataka and Rajasthan –- this year that has not come which has caused prices to soar in the last two weeks. The kharif harvest for both moong and urad in Maharashtra was less by 30 per cent because of the rainfall deficiency in July, which led to reduced acreage.

Traders are saying the rains in Karnataka are also partially responsible for rising prices by way of increasing demand for the pulses crop, although moong crop was harvested by September end, before the floods set in. Urad dal is primarily from Latur, with some also coming from Solapur and Jalgaon, where the production was lower this year.

"Large quantities of moong comes from Rajasthan and UP around this time; this year because of drought-like situation, moong has failed everywhere," said Rajendra Bhatiya, APMC trader. "Moong was only Rs 60 per kg, urad was at Rs 50. This increase of price has been over the last fortnight," said Nitin Nahar, pulses traders. While tur dal is being made available at the public distribution shops, moong and urad dals are not.

Meanwhile, recent floods are expected to cause the prices of rice to soar. Maharashtra gets most of the paddy crop from Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, while certain varieties of rice like the basmati come from Punjab and Harayana. "Rice from Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh is priced between Rs 15 to Rs 30, which is consumed by people in large numbers. The quality of rice from the south will be inferior – most of it will be yellow. Prices are likely to increase substantially," Bhatiya said. Agriculture officials say that exact estimate of paddy damage in Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg will be more clear in the next few days. Most of the paddy damaged here was for local consumption. On the other hand, the tur crop, which will be harvested in December, is expected to benefit from the recent rains. Last year, the tur crop production was five lakh tonnes, this year it is estimated to be around seven lakh tonnes. Tur is primarily grown in Marathwada and Vidharba, where the rains were less severe, but significant.

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