Tur-nomics: Prices of India’s Favourite Dal Heat Up - Akshi Chawla
Centre for Economic Data and Analysis, Ashoka University
Retail prices of Tur (Arhar) dal jumped from INR 110.5 per kg on average across the country at the beginning of the year to INR 135.7 per kg by July 31, 2023. Prices of this dal have risen faster than the overall food prices.
Even as the sharp surge in tomato prices in recent weeks has caught everybody’s attention, another essential kitchen staple – Tur (also called Arhar) dal – has been seeing a steady jump in prices in recent months in India. From costing INR 110.5 per kg on average across the country to consumers at the beginning of the year, the retail price of this lentil had jumped to INR 135.7 per kg by July 31, 2023, a jump of almost 23 percent in seven months. Wholesale prices too jumped by a similar proportion (22.6 percent), going from INR 101.3 per kg on January 01, 2023 to INR 124.2 per kg by July 31, 2023. (Figure 1a). A similar spike has not been observed in the price of other pulses
As is common with food prices, these jumps have been uneven in different parts of the country (Figure 2). As of July 31, 2023, the retail price of Tur varied from INR 132.3 per kg on average in the north-eastern region of the country to INR 148.9 in the southern region. The southern region also saw the highest rise in prices since a year ago. Retail prices of the dal jumped by nearly 36 percent compared to their prices a year ago (as on Aug 01, 2022). The jump was the lowest (17.8 percent) in the north-eastern region.
Tur/Arhar is among the most commonly consumed dal in India (Figure 3). Six in ten rural households (59.6 percent) and 74.1 percent urban households reported consuming Arhar dal in the preceding month in 2011-12, data from the Household Consumer Expenditure Survey (NSS Round 68) shows. On average, a rural household consumed 0.212 kg of this dal in a month while an urban household consumed 0.301 kg of this dal each month in 2011-12. In fact, Arhar accounted for as much as 27 percent of pulse consumption in rural areas and 33 percent in urban areas, the survey had observed.
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Akshi Chawla, Centre for Economic Data and Analysis, Ashoka University, 7 August, 2023, https://ceda.ashoka.edu.in/tur-nomics-prices-of-indias-favourite-dal-heat-up/