Lemon prices have reached new highs in recent weeks, with a single lemon costing between Rs 10 and Rs 15 in most stores. In Ghaziabad’s wholesale vegetable market, the citrus fruit is selling for roughly 350 rupees per kilogram.
Lemon is being sold for ten rupees a piece in Hyderabad, according to news agency ANI. It costs 200 rupees per kilogram in Gujarat.
Vegetable prices have risen across India as a result of rising fuel and transportation expenses, particularly in the context of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. In lemon-growing regions, the weather has also been exceptionally unfavourable. The cost of transportation for vendors in Gujarat, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh, the three primary lemon-producing states, has increased since March 22, the increase in gasoline prices has spilled over to vegetables.
Traders attribute the increase in vegetable costs to increased gasoline expenses. “In my 30 years of business, lemons have sold for a maximum of ₹ 150 a kilo but they have never touched ₹ 300 a kg. Diesel prices have increased the cost of transportation by ₹ 24,000 a truck,” a wholesaler, Tilak Saini, said to NDTV.
According to a vendor speaking to ANI, “The prices have gone really high. Earlier, we used to purchase a whole lemon sack for ₹ 700 which now costs ₹ 3,500. We are selling a single lemon for ₹ 10 and nobody is ready to buy it. Nobody is ready to accept that the prices have gone up and are leaving without the purchase of the lemons.”
“We were selling lemon at ₹ 60 per kg three weeks ago, which has now crossed ₹ 200 per kg, that too in the peak season, when supply, as well as demand, is generally high,” the trader said. “But the production of the lemon crop has been less this time and the demand is high due to Ramzan and due to the increase in temperature,” he added.
Another wholesaler informed ANI that the price increase is mostly due to a supply shortage and increased demand during the current summer season. Green chillies, a kitchen staple, and vegetables like bitter gourd have also doubled in price in the last two weeks.
According to a Reuters poll of economists, India’s retail inflation would hit a 16-month high of 6.35 percent due to a continuing rise in food costs.