The prices of agricultural commodities weakened by over 20% in India due to coronavirus spread. Total number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 543 today. Economic impact of the pandemic has leveled up in the country.
Drop in prices of Agricultural Commodities
The agriculture sector of India witnessed a breakdown amid the increasing coronavirus cases. The prices of agricultural commodities like perishable vegetables fell by 15-20% as the bulk of demand declined. However, prices of vegetables having longer shelf lives like tomato, onions, and potatoes increased.
No Shortage of Agricultural Commodities
Officials confirmed that there is no shortage of fruits, vegetables, grains and pulses in the country. In addition, packaging and dispatches for exports have not decreased. However, the price of grape exports declined to Rs 70-75 from Rs 100 per kg. Further, wholesale sugar prices have fallen by 4% over the past weeks.
Enough Stock Despite Coronavirus Spread says CAIT
Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) stated that the supply chain is working to its full efficiency with abundant material as importers and traders keep a buffer stock for about two months. However, heat may be felt after 15 days if the same situation persists. There is sufficient stock of grains in India to last almost one year.
Hit to the Unorganized Sector
Citing the situation, Industry associations have appealed to the government for financial assistance and restructuring of bank loans. Workers are not reporting to work and the migrants are returning to their native places.
While the hit to the agriculture sector is not that high, the impact on service sector employees and workers is likely to be most pronounced. A large number of the house helps, barbers, hawkers, migrant laborers have lost their jobs since the Coronavirus lock down. Around 500 million workforce of India, of which some 85% are in the unorganized and informal sector, have been worst hit as there are no jobs available due to pandemic hit.
Though the agriculture supply chain is stable in USA, changes are being witnessed on the consumption patterns. People are running to stores and putting pressure on grocery supplies due to the fear of a shortage of supply in lock down. Also, the government is making efforts keep the meat, egg and dairy supply chain stable. Further, corn prices are down 50¢, while soybeans are off 60¢ since the outbreak of the coronavirus.
In all, the pandemic has impacted the economy in a severe way in India and globally.