As per CRISIL’s latest monthly indicator of food plate cost in India, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian thalis prepared at home witnessed a relief as October saw a drop in prices of potato, tomato and broiler.
The cost of a representative, home-cooked vegetarian and non- vegetarian thali dipped 5% and 7% on-year, respectively, in October 2023, CRISIL MI&A Research estimates show.
The average cost of preparing a thali at home is calculated based on input prices prevailing in north, south, east, and west India. Monthly change reflects the impact on the common man’s expenditure.
The data also revealed the ingredients (cereals, pulses, broilers, vegetables, spices, edible oil, cooking gas) driving changes in the cost of a thali.
The dip was due to a significant 21% and 38% on-year decline in the prices of potato and tomato, respectively, in the month.
The cost of non-veg thali declined faster as the price of broiler (~50% share in the thali cost) softened an estimated 5-7% on-year on a high base.
The cost of fuel, which accounts for ~14% and ~8% of the total cost of the veg and non-veg thali, respectively, declined ~14% year-on-year as the price of a 14.2 kg LPG cylinder fell from Rs 1,053 to Rs 903, CRISIL said.
Further decline in thali prices was capped by a rise in onion prices in the second half of the month to Rs 40/ kg on average from Rs 34/kg in the first half, trading 25% higher on-year in the second half owing to a lower kharif output estimated in 2023.
Thali prices are expected to inch up in November if higher prices of onion- which accounts for ~10% of the total cost of a veg thali- persist.
Price of pulses, accounting for 9% share in the total cost of a veg thali, increased 19% on-year. This too kept the thali cost from falling further.
In September, the cost of a vegetarian thali fell 17% on-month in September. The major contribution was from tomato prices, which declined ~62% on-month to Rs 39/kg in September 2023 from Rs 102/kg in August.
The cost of a non-vegetarian thali had declined 9% in September due to a 2-3% estimated on month increase in prices of broiler (more than 50% share in the total thali cost).