Onion surges despite higher arrivals

M.R. Subramani Chennai | Updated on June 24, 2011


Onion prices surged further this week with quality onions commanding over Rs 900 a quintal in markets around growing areas in Maharashtra.

“Whatever onion is coming to the market, it is from warehouses where growers and traders have stored. So, prices tend to be a little on the higher side,” said Dr R.P. Gupta, Director of National Horticultural Research Foundation.

At the Lasalgaon agricultural produce marketing committee yard in Maharashtra, the modal price or rates at which most trades were done increased to Rs 775 a quintal. At nearby Pimpalgaon, the modal price was Rs 850 a quintal against Rs 701 last week.

Following the rise in prices, arrivals too increased. During the last three trading sessions, over 1,000 tonnes arrived at Lasalgaon is Asia's largest onion market. At Pimpalgaon, arrivals were around 900 tonnes during the same period.

“Arrivals are lower compared with the demand. Growers are holding back their produce,” said Mr Rupesh Jaju, Director of United Pacific Agro Ltd.

“Prices are ruling firm as demand from South India is strong,” said Mr Madan Prakash, Director of Chennai-based Rajathi group of companies that exports agri produce.

“Export demand continues from the Gulf.”

The surge in onion prices is termed an usual phenomenon during this time of the year as the harvest of rabi crop is over. “Prices generally rule higher during June, July and August and until kharif onion arrives,” Dr Gupta said.

This time, growers have stored higher quantity of onions in warehouses. “We won't be seeing any shortage as we witnessed last year. Prices, too, are unlikely to surge like last year,” added Dr Gupta.

Published on June 24, 2011

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