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Flare up in dal price: Papad production down 50%; mithai prices to up 10%
Author:depl  From:本站  Time:2015-11-3 10:51:28  Click:1255
The recent hike in prices of pulses - topped by tur dal reaching a record Rs 210 per kg - has struck a strong blow to the food processing industry - both organised and unorganised - by either bringing the production and sales down or chipping away its festive season profits.

While tur dal’s rise has mostly affected domestic consumers and hotels and hospitality industry, spike in rates of urad dal (from Rs 80 to Rs 160-180 per kg), chana dal (Rs 40 to Rs 70) and moong dal (Rs 70 to Rs 110) has struck industries such as papad or appalam (in south) and farsan, namkeen and mithai (savouries and sweets) across the country.

Urad dal or black gram which constitutes the main ingredient of papad has witnessed doubling of price in recent times. Now it is being sold at around Rs 18,000 per quintal. This has forced the production of papad down to 50%, according to some manufacturers in Tamil Nadu.

“Earlier we used to buy 200 bags of 100 kg dal in a day but now it has been reduced to 80 bags due to rise in prices,” rues Vijayan, a manufacturer of papad from Tamil Nadu. The result being 100 gm pack of papad, earlier selling at Rs 30, is now selling at Rs 40-50. He adds, “This has affected the sales as well. From August to January the demand usually remains high but due to inflation the demand has been hit seriously.”

The papad industry in Tamil Nadu is worth Rs 750 crore. However, according to Vijayan, the government is not doing much to help the industry in the current scenario. He stated, “Whatever intervention by government, was for helping the retail consumers of dals, and not the industry.”

Supporting his claim, Tamil Nadu Appalam Manufacturers Welfare Association (TAUNS - Tamil Nadu Appala Urppathiyaalar Nala Sangam), states, “It is worrying to note that the Central government that checks the price of onions by importing from other nations has not yet taken any steps to control the price of urad dal. Immediate remedial measures will help in the survival of appalam industry that is wholly dependent on urad dal, the main and predominant raw material in appalam manufacturing.”

The association alleges, “The sudden steep rise in the price from Rs 6,000 a quintal last year to Rs 18,000 a quintal now is the result of online trading and hoarding to create artificial scarcity and extort money from consumers. This has changed the way people eat. Idli, dosa and vada has now become a costly affair and people are refraining from cooking them, which are our traditional healthy diets and identity of the food culture of the state.”

Savouries and sweets
The buoyancy in prices of chana dal (split bengal gram) and moong dal (split green gram) has had a strong impact equally on top names from the organised savouries and sweets industry as well as the ubiquitous mithai shops. An employee from purchase department of Haldiram’s Nagpur, states, “Now as such there is no effect, but prices will surely increase as Diwali is approaching. The management team of our company will be fixing the cost soon in a meeting but these increased prices will be effective just before Diwali.”

Nikhil Garg of Shri Rajasthan Namkeen & Sweets, Ajmer, who supplies namkeens and mithais across the country, is also sure about the pre-Diwali rise. “A 10% price rise will be effective soon on our products as the input costs have increased. Also the festive season of Diwali is approaching where price rise is a common factor seen in the market.”

Ajit Mota of Snack Food Association of Maharashtra is also anticipating a rise in prices of namkeens and mithais. He states, “If the prices of the pulses like chana dal and tur dal keep going up at present rates, they may result in the price rise of sweets and namkeens by 10 to 15%.”

On a concluding note, Deepak Gupta of Mummy Food Product Pvt. Ltd, expects Diwali shopping frenzy to make up for the losses. He states,“The diwali season usually has high demand for namkeens and sweets. We can raise prices of our products in this season which will help us fill in the losses which we have incurred due to the rise in price of pulses like urad, chana and moong.”
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