Traders attribute it to shortage in supply, rise in transportation cost and overhead expenses
With people making a beeline to the markets to buy essentials and puja items for celebrating Pongal, the price of edible variety of sugarcane has gone up sharply in Tiruchi.
Though the traders had set up temporary stall on corners and important junctions in almost all parts of the city on Sunday itself, the sales picked up momentum only on Monday. Residents came in large numbers to buy sugarcane, vegetables and turmeric bunches in markets. The traders had sourced sugarcane, mostly from Thiruvalarcholai on Tiruchi-Kallanai road and Thirukattupalli in Thanjavur district.
Depending upon the quality, sugarcane was being sold between ₹30 and ₹60 apiece. Medium size sugarcane was being sold at ₹50. When compared to last year, the price has gone up by 20%.
A medium size sugarcane was sold at ₹40 last year. Traders attribute the price rise to shortage supply, rise in transportation cost and sharp rise in overhead expenses.
“I have paid ₹420 for a load of 1,000 canes. The actual cost of each cane is ₹42. I need to sell at the rate of ₹60 a cane to make a decent profit,” says R. Rajendran, an autorikshaw driver, who has set up a seasonal sugarcane stall at Bheema Nagar.
He said that cane from Thirukattupalli was superior in quality.
“It is not only big in size but also very sweet. People, who have good knowledge of sugarcane, invariably prefer Thirukattupalli cane. The cane raised in Thiruvalarcholar is also preferred by the customers”, he said.
Most customers indulge in hard bargaining.
They manage to convince the cane traders to reduce at least ₹5 from the quoted price.
A leading departmental store at Cantonment sells a cane at a cost of ₹30.
“It costs ₹120 for a pair of good quality cane. It is definitely on the higher side. We do not know the factors on fixing prices of cane. But, we have no other choice except to pay what is being demanded by the traders,” said M. Perumal of Anna Nagar.
Similarly, the price of turmeric bunch, has gone by ₹10 this year.
Traders quote a good quality of turmeric bunch at ₹40 as against ₹30 in the last year.