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Vegetarian thali became costlier in March, non-veg cheaper: Report

Onion prices could lead to vegetarian thali prices increasing later, says CRISIL

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Raghav Aggarwal New Delhi

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The cost of a home-cooked vegetarian thali increased 7 per cent in March to Rs 27.3 compared to Rs 25.5 in the same month in 2023, said a report on Thursday.

A “non-vegetarian” thali’s price decreased 7 per cent to Rs 54.9 from Rs 59.2 in the same period, said the report by rating agency CRISIL. A vegetarian thali comprises roti, onion, tomato, potato, rice, dal, curd, and salad. A non-vegetarian has the same foods but chicken (broiler) replaces dal.

The average cost of a home-cooked thali is calculated based on input prices in North, South, East and West India. According to CRISIL's Roti Rice Rate report, a vegetarian thali became costlier due to prices of onion, tomato and potato rising 40 per cent, 36 per cent, and 22 per cent year-on-year.

Markets had low supplies of onions and potatoes and a low base last fiscal shaped tomato prices. Low supplies pushed up rice prices by 14 per cent and pulses by 22 per cent.

The price of a vegetarian thali in March fell by one per cent compared to February (Rs 27.4) as tomato prices fell 2 per cent. A non-vegetarian thali became cheaper in March year-on-year as broiler prices declined 16 per cent.

"For the past five months, there has been a divergence in the cost of vegetarian and non-vegetarian food plates," said Pushan Sharma, director of Research at CRISIL Market Intelligence and Analytics.

"While the vegetarian plate has become more expensive on-year, the non-vegetarian is cheaper. The divergence is because broiler chicken prices have fallen owing to excess supply."

Compared to February, the cost of a non-vegetarian thali rose 2 per cent in March due to a 5 per cent jump in broiler prices. Chicken meat is in higher demand in Ramzan and feed costs have increased.

"Going forward, we expect wheat prices to decline with fresh harvest arriving in the market and tomato prices to stay benign, but onion prices could see some near-term firming up because the rabi harvest is seen 20 per cent lower," said Sharma, hinting that thali prices may increase.

Cost of preparing thali at home

Month Veg thali (in Rs) Non-veg thali (in Rs)
March 2023 25.5 59.2
April 2023 25.4 58.9
May 2023 25.5 59.9
June 2023 26.7 60.5
July 2023 34.1 67.8
August 2023 34 67.5
September 2023 28.1 60.7
October 2023 27.7 58.6
November 2023 30.5 60.4
December 2023 29.7 56.4
January 2024 28 52
February 2024 27.4 54
March 2024 27.3 54.9

Source: Crisil Roti Rice Rate report

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First Published: Apr 04 2024 | 2:48 PM IST

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