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How India Eats: Non-veg thali cost slips, veg gets expensive in April

The decrease in broiler chicken prices has brought down the cost of the non-veg thali to Rs 56.3, compared to Rs 58.9 for the same month in 2023

Published: May 8, 2024 11:00:00 AM IST
Updated: May 8, 2024 11:01:22 AM IST

How India Eats: Non-veg thali cost slips, veg gets expensive in April

With the decrease in broiler prices, the cost of a home-cooked non-vegetarian thali dropped in April. However, continuous increase in tomato, onion and potato prices have kept the cost of a vegetarian thali on the rise.

In April, the representative non-vegetarian thali cost Rs 56.3 at an average, showing a decline of 4.4 percent compared to the same month in 2023, as per Crisil MI&A Research estimates. Last year, the same thali was priced at Rs 58.9. The decrease was due to a 12 percent year-on-year decline in broiler prices on a high base of last fiscal.

However, that does not hold true when compared to a month-on-month basis. The cost of a non-veg thali rose on a monthly basis due to an estimated 4 percent increase in the prices of broiler chicken. Higher demand and rising input costs raised the prices, which account for 50 percent of the cost of a non-veg thali. The average cost of a home cooked non-veg thali was Rs 54.9 in March.

Also read: How India Eats: Veg thali spikes on tomato, onion, potato prices in March

Those opting for vegetarian food had to shell out more for a home-cooked thali in April. The cost of a representative home-cooked veg thali rose 8 percent in April—a vegetarian thali cost Rs 27.4 in April, up from Rs 25.4 in same month last year. The prices of onion surged 41 percent, tomato 40 percent while potato climbed 38 percent year-on-year in April, which jacked up the cost of a veg thali.

How India Eats: Non-veg thali cost slips, veg gets expensive in April

Lower onion arrivals due to a significant drop in rabi acreage and damage to potato crop in West Bengal led to the price increase, says Crisil. Amid lower arrivals, prices of rice and pulses also increased 14 percent and 20 percent year-on-year, respectively, in April. Rice account for 13 percent to the veg thali cost while pulses contribute to 9 percent. However, decline in the prices of cumin, chilli and vegetable oil prevented further increase. In April, cumin prices fell 40 percent, chilli declined 31 percent and vegetable oil slipped 10 percent.

How India Eats: Non-veg thali cost slips, veg gets expensive in April

However, the cost of a vegetarian thali remained flat month-on-month due to a 4 percent decline in onion prices amid new arrivals coupled with 3 percent fall in fuel cost, while tomato and potato prices inched up.

Also read: Summer Of 2024: Sizzling Temperature, Heat Wave To Hit Food Prices, Water, Polls Too

Retail vegetable prices are again simmering, this time driven by potatoes, ginger and winter vegetables (like cabbage, peas). According to Shreya Sodhani, economist, Barclays, the magnitude of rises are not yet as sharp as those seen in July last year, though with heatwave-like conditions in the southern and eastern parts of the country, the trend in prices need to be watched out. The central government announced the lifting of the export ban on onions on May 4, but with conditions of a minimum export price and an export duty of 40 percent.

The RBI sees the 4 percent inflation target within sight, but it will largely depend on progress of this year's monsoon.