Agri Business

Onion prices ease on new arrivals

Tomojit Basu New Delhi | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on August 27, 2015

onion

Fresh domestic supply, imports from Egypt hit shores

The arrival of fresh early kharif season harvested onions from the Southern States is slowly helping lower wholesale prices of the bulb in markets here over the past three days. Reports also indicated that supplies had entered other parts of the country, such as Bengaluru and Mumbai, which received a shipment of Egyptian onions this week.

According to the Consumer Affairs Ministry data, as of Thursday, average wholesale price of the kitchen staple in the Capital stood at Rs 3,413/quintal, around 6 per cent lower than Rs 3,625/quintal at the beginning of the week.

“Prices have come down by Rs 7-8/kg over the last three days since the new stock is making its way to Delhi’s mandis, mainly from Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh,” said Rajinder Sharma, Member of the Azadpur Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC).

Sharma said onions were available for Rs 30-45/kg at the Azadpur wholesale market and expected prices to stabilise only by mid-October.

Data shows, however, that average wholesale prices are up 78.4 per cent over the last month, when it was Rs 1,913/quintal, and 102 per cent over the year.

The Consumer Affairs Secretary also met officials from the Agriculture and Food Ministries, the Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC), Nafed and Mother Dairy, on Thursday to review the availability and prices of onions and pulses.

“Arrivals in Lasalgaon and Pimpalgaon have been increasing and wholesale price at Lasalgaon has come down to Rs 4,800/ quintal. Fresh onion stocks are coming to Delhi…and because of this, the wholesale price in Delhi has come down to Rs 4,100/quintal,” it said.

In the National Capital Region, onions are being sold at 390 Safal shops for Rs 38/kg, at 120 Delhi Milk Scheme outlets at Rs 35/kg and at 280 fair price shops for Rs 30/kg.

Retail prices, on average, have increased sharply over the last month in most Indian cities and the situation is unlikely to improve till October when sizeable quantities of the Kharif harvest will make its way to markets across India.

Prices are up almost 68 per cent in Mumbai, 106 per cent in Kolkata, 114 per cent in Bengaluru and 131 per cent in Hyderabad over that period. Year-on-year price swings are similarly distressing.

India produced nearly 19 million tonnes of onions in 2014-15, but crop damage caused by unseasonal rainfall and hailstorms through the Rabi season has been attributed as the reason for the current shortage.

Deficient rainfall through the Kharif season – which accounts for 20 per cent of total onion production – may impact the bulb further.

Published on August 27, 2015
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