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Huge inflow caps onion’s gains

M.R. Subramani
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Onion prices topped the Rs 600-mark this week but prices were kept in check by arrivals in other States.

“Prices have gone up, no doubt. But they have not gone up the way they should have,” said Rupesh Jaju, Director of Nashik-based United Pacific Agro Pvt Ltd.

Usually, onion prices will tend to rise sharply after August 15, but this year the trend has been missing.“Traders and farmers who had held stocks are bringing fearing onions may rot or lose weight due to dehydration,” said Jaju. Onions, harvested in April, could lose 8-10 per cent weight due to dehydration by August.

Prices, depending on quality, are averaging between Rs 450 and Rs 750 a quintal. At Lasalgaon Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee yard, Asia’s largest onion market, the modal price or the rate at which most trades took place increased to Rs 650 .Arrivals since the beginning of this month have averaged over 2,000 tonnes, barring one day due to rain.

“In the domestic market, we don’t see Kolkata buyers purchasing. Usually, they buy during Ramzan for onward sale to Bangladesh. It is missing,” said Jaju.

The reason for this is that onions from other parts such as Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka have arrived in the markets there.“Export demand, on the other hand, is normal since arrivals are heavy,” said Jaju.

Unless any drastic buying happens, onion prices are likely to rule at current levels during the next fortnight.

Subramani.mancombu

@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 18, 2012)
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