The cost of a home-cooked veg thali rose 8% in April 2024 on year-on-year basis, while that of a non-veg thali declined 4%, according to ratings agency CRISIL.

The cost of the veg thali increased due to a surge of 41%, 40% and 38% on-year in prices of onion, tomato and potato, respectively, on a low base of last fiscal, CRISIL's Market Intelligence & Analysis report 'Roti Rice Rate' released today says.

Lower onion arrivals due to a significant drop in rabi acreage and damage to potato crops in West Bengal also contributed to the price increase.

Amid lower arrivals, the prices of rice, accounting for 13% of the veg thali cost, and pulses (9%) increased 14% and 20% on-year, respectively, the data shows.

Though there was an overall rise in the cost of thali, the prices of cumin, chilli and vegetable oil declined 40%, 31% and 10%, respectively, thus preventing further increase.

In the case of non-veg thali, the decrease in the cost was due to a 12% on-year decline in broiler prices on a high base of last fiscal.

On-month basis, the veg thali prices remained "flat", says CRISIL, adding that due to a 4% decline in onion prices amid new arrivals coupled with a 3% decline in fuel cost, while tomato and potato prices inched up.

"The cost of the non-veg thali rose due to an estimated 4% increase in prices of broilers, which account for 50% of the cost, due to higher demand and rising input costs," says CRISIL.

A veg thali comprises roti, vegetables (onion, tomato and potato), rice, dal, curd and salad. A non-veg thali has the same elements as the veg thali, except for dal, which is replaced by chicken (broiler). The weightage of ingredients does not vary based on volatility in commodity prices, it clarifies. The average cost of preparing a thali at home is calculated based on input prices prevailing in north, south, east and west India.

Notably, India's retail inflation eased to a nine-month low of 4.85% in March 2024, remaining within the central bank's tolerance band of 4-6%. The consumer price index-based inflation in March was the lowest since June 2023 when it stood at 4.81%. In February, the inflation rate came in at 5.09%.

The country’s wholesale price inflation, on the other hand, surged to 0.53% in March 2024, the government data show. In contrast, the wholesale price inflation for January and February stood at 0.20% and 0.33%, respectively. For primary articles, the wholesale inflation stood at 4.5% in March, as against 4.49% and 4.07% in February and January, respectively.

Follow us on Facebook, X, YouTube, Instagram and WhatsApp to never miss an update from Fortune India. To buy a copy, visit Amazon.