LAHORE: The resumption of import of tomato from India has reduced wholesale rates of the commodity by Rs 300 per 22 kilogram crate.
According to customs officials at Wagah border, almost 35 trucks carrying tomato entered Pakistan after clearance. They pointed out that the supply was stuck at the Indian side due to Diwali holidays.
However, work was kicked off on the Indian side of the border to ensure that massive trade consignments, mainly comprising perishable items, were cleared for entrance inside Pakistan. The delay in supply of perishable items increased the rates of tomato in Pakistan and onion in India.
India has been facing an acute shortage of onion this season as monsoon rains destroyed their domestic crop. To meet demands, India has been relying on imported onion from Egypt, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Indian imported tomato was sold in the wholesale market between the range of Rs 2,150 to Rs 2,200 per 22 kilogram crate each against previous rates of Rs2,500 to 2,600 per crate.
At present, the retail price of tomato in Lahore and adjacent districts range between Rs160 to Rs200 per kilogram. The price is expected to come down after resumption of supplies from India in the coming week.
Vegetable importers of Lahore said the rates of tomatoes pushed upwards after hoarding and an artificial shortage was created which pushed the rates to a new high.
However, they believed that this hike was temporary and local supply of tomatoes would start from Sindh and Sawar crops during the next two weeks.