New Delhi: While tomato prices continue to pinch the pockets of Indian consumers, the exports from the country have helped reduce rates of the commodity by more than half in Pakistan in the last 10 days.

According to traders, hundreds of truckloads of tomato consignments are being sent to Pakistan since 1 October through the Wagah border.

Border bargains: Hundreds of truckloads of tomatoes are being sent to Pakistan since 1 October through the Wagah border, say traders.

According to Pakistani media reports, tomato prices in Lahore had shot up to (INR) Rs91 per kg on 17 October. But imports from India have brought them down to Rs35-40 per kg. “I have sent some consignments to Pakistan through an exporter," a New Delhi-based tomato trader said without revealing the quantity he sold to the country. “But most of the tomatoes, 90-95%, were sent by traders of Amritsar who got the benefits because of their proximity to border."

The demand for tomatoes in Pakistan has declined and exporters have reduced the number of consignments, he added. Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal flagged off the first load of tomatoes to Pakistan on 1 October at Attari checkpost, which contained 600 boxes of the commodity worth Rs2 lakh exported by Narain Eximp Corp. of Amritsar.

There are also some consignments of tomatoes being exported to Pakistan through railways, another trader said.

On the other hand, in the national capital region, the retail prices have been Rs16-20 per kg this month.

However, wholesale tomato prices in the region declined to Rs13 per kg on Saturday, from about Rs16 per kg 10 days ago, said officials from the Delhi Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee. Traders said good quality tomatoes were being sold at Rs8-9 per kg at Azadpur mandi on Sunday. With more arrivals from Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh expected in the next few days, tomato prices are expected to come down further.