Millennium Post

Retail inflation rises for 2nd month in row to 5.76%

The rise may make it difficult for the Reserve Bank of India to lower the interest rates. The retail inflation measured on Consumer Price Index (CPI) for April has been revised upwards to 5.47 per cent from the earlier 5.39 per cent, government data showed on Monday. 

It was 5.01 per cent in May 2015. Inflation in the vegetable basket more than doubled to 10.77 per cent in May as compared to 4.82 per cent in the previous month. Similarly, the rate of price rise was sharp in protein rich eggs at 9.13 per cent as compared to 6.64 per cent in April.

Overall food inflation moved up to 7.55 per cent in May as against 6.32 per cent in the previous month, the data showed. Cereal and related products, meat and fish, milk and its products, and fruits were dearer in May as compared to the previous month. As per the data, inflation in the fuel and light segment was marginally down in May from the previous month. Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation collects data from selected towns and villages to calculate CPI-based retail inflation. 

The Reserve Bank factors in the retail inflation while arriving at its monetary policy. In the bi-monthly policy released earlier this month, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan had maintained status quo in the key policy rate (repo rate) citing higher upside risks to ‘inflation trajectory’. As per the RBI, the expectations of a normal monsoon and a reasonable spatial and temporal distribution of rainfall, along with various supply management measures and introduction of the electronic national agriculture market (e-NAM) trading portal, “should moderate unanticipated flares of food inflation”. 

Onion exports increases 33% to Rs 2,362 crore in April-February
India’s onion exports went up 33 per cent to Rs 2,362 crore in the first 11 months of 2015-16 on higher realisation of sales. Onion exports stood at 9,80,566 tonnes during the 11 months of 2015-16 as against 9,70,442 tonnes in the same period of the previous financial year, according to data compiled by the National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF).
In value terms, the exports increased to Rs 2,362 crore from Rs 1,771 crore in the year-ago period on the back of higher sales realisation, the data showed.

The average price realisation worked out to Rs 28,215 per tonne in 2015-16 as against Rs 18,507 for the whole of 2014-15. Last year, the government had hiked the minimum export price (MEP) to $425 per tonne in June and then to $700 per tonne in August after prices skyrocketed on lower output due to unseasonal rains. On December 25 last year, the government had scrapped the onion MEP to push exports as domestic prices crashed. MEP is the rate below which no trader is allowed to export.

India had exported 10,86,072 tonnes of onion for Rs 2,010 crore in 2014-15. Onion output stood at 189 lakh tonnes in 2014-15 crop year (July-June). In the 2015-16 crop year, production is estimated at 206 lakh tonnes. Maharashtra, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh are the top three onion-producing states in the country. Onion prices are currently ruling at Rs 20-25 per kg in the retail market of the national capital. 

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