Agri Business

Onion Retail Price Tracker: Tuesday, December 31

Annapurani V Chennai | Updated on December 31, 2019

December saw onion prices peak and gradually soften, but a long time before prices fall to normal levels


Onion buyers can look forward to a greater softening of prices in the new year, after the small declines seen over the past few days at many centres across the country. Data quoted on the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) website showed that the average retail prices of onions declined by as much as ₹20-30/kg on Tuesday from Friday’s levels at Kozhikode, Hyderabad, Guwahati and Kolkata. The corresponding decline in centres such as Karnal, Shimla, Ludhiana, Jabalpur, Bhubaneshwar, Cuttack, Rourkela, Dindigul, Tirunelveli, Dharmapuri, Ranchi, Panaji, Raipur and Jammu was ₹10-15/kg.

The government proposal to create a buffer stock of 1 lakh tonnes during 2020 may protect consumers from the sharp volatility in prices experienced in 2019.

Also read: Govt to create 1-lakh-tonne onion buffer stock in 2020

Though the minimum and maximum retail prices remained unchanged at ₹48/kg and ₹150/kg, respectively, the all-India modal prices dropped to ₹95/kg on Tuesday from ₹100/kg last Friday.

The rise and decline in December

The prices of onions, which were already elevated at the beginning of December, climbed higher over the month. Some States were impacted more than the others due to supply disruptions caused by the prolonged monsoon.

Kerala, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and the North-Eastern States were among the worst affected, while Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh managed to escape the sharp volatilities experienced elsewhere.

The minimum price of onions rose from ₹42/kg at the beginning of the month to ₹50 mid-December, fell to ₹35/kg soon after and climbed to ₹48/kg again, whereas the maximum price of the commodity surged from ₹100/kg to ₹180 mid-December and then fell to ₹150/kg towards the end of the month. The all-India modal price of the bulb rose from ₹80/kg at the start of December to ₹100/kg towards the end.

Moderation in prices happened only when fresh production and imports reached the markets.

Also read: 790 tonnes of imported onion reach India; some sent to Andhra Pradesh, Delhi

Zone-wise variations

DCA website data show that in the North, prices rose the most (₹30-40/kg), in centres such as Karnal, Ludhiana, Amritsar and Gurugram. In centres such as Hisar, Panchkula, Delhi and Mandi, prices rose by ₹10-25/kg from the beginning of the month.

In the West, while they climbed by ₹70/kg in Ambikapur, ₹40/kg in Bhuj, and ₹30/kg in Durg and Jagadalpur, in centres such as Indore, Jabalpur, Jaipur and Ahmedabad, they rose ₹10-20/kg.

In the East, Rampurhat and Malda saw the price of the bulb rise the most, by ₹30/kg and ₹50/kg, respectively. In centres such as Jeypore, Balasore and Kolkata, prices increased by ₹10/kg from the beginning of the month.

In the North-East, Itanagar saw onion prices climb by ₹50/kg.

In the South, consumers in Mayabunder, Andaman, continued to pay the most for the commodity. While Kurnool, Thiruchirapalli and Vijayawada saw prices climb by ₹23/kg, ₹25/kg and ₹53/kg, respectively, centres such as Dharmapuri and Hyderabad saw prices drop by ₹20/kg and ₹25/kg, respectively.

Here’s a round-up of the top five cities with the highest and lowest prices on Tuesday, December 31.


Published on December 31, 2019

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