PUNE: Retail prices of most grocery items, such as pulses and edible oil, have gone up in the city in the past few days.
The retailers attributed the rise to factors such as increase in public demand, despite the restaurants remaining shut since March, and supply shortage in the wake of heavy rain in parts of Maharashtra, including Latur, Jalgaon and Akola. Retailers said heavy rain had destroyed the crops in some parts of the state and country.
For instance, chana dal, which was being sold for around Rs70 per kg last week, now costs around Rs80 per kg. Similarly, the edible oil prices have gone up to Rs120/litre from last week’s Rs110/litre. The retail price of tur dal also witnessed a marginal rise, with the pulse now being sold at Rs100/kg from earlier Rs95/kg.
The price rise, the retailers said, came at a time when all restaurants were shut, except for takeaway and home delivery. “Chana dal has been going off the shelves pretty fast in last few months, especially due to the increased household demand. Another reason could be widespread use of this pulse in the food kits donated during the Covid-19 outbreak. Given that it is one of the cheapest pulses available, people are buying chana dal more. Our firm alone had sent out almost 3 lakh such foodgrain kits across India in the past few months,” Dhaval Shah, director of Jairaj Group in Gultekdi wholesale market, Pune, said.
“The heavy rain had destroyed crops, which triggered the shortage of good quality chana dal in the market,” he said.
Kaushal Sankla, a distributor of grocery staples and edible oils to wholesalers in Market Yard and other locations, said, “Retail price of one of the most sold edible oils in Pune rose from Rs110 per litre to Rs120 per litre within barely a week. Maximum oil supplies come from Ukraine and Russia in crude form. Oil is refined in India after imported. Almost 25% sunflower crop in two countries were damaged due to inclement weather and rain, causing surge in price of oil.”
Hanuman Unecha, a wholesaler in Market Yard, said, “A 15-litre can of edible oil is now sold at Rs1,730 in wholesale market as against Rs1,560 in recent past,” he said.

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