Onion prices in the wholesale and retail market will remain stable and there will be no major hike in the price of the bulb crop during or after Diwali, according to traders in Lasalgaon, Asia’s biggest onion market.

“There is enough onion available in the market and there is no excess export or domestic demand. Also, onion from Karnataka and Andhra is coming into the market, and supply in Maharashtra is getting back to the routine. We don’t see major ups and downs in the market during or after Diwali,” said Lasalgaon onion trader Nitin Jain.

Surge in onion prices adds another layer of pain for consumers

He added that the sudden hike in prices in the last few days was because of the demand and supply gap. “Massive rains created a major problem in supply chains. No new arrivals were possible because of the rains. But now the market is stable and will remain so if rains don’t create any further problems,” said Jain.

Rain havoc

The major part of onion arriving in the markets is summer produce harvested in March and April. “Farmers store this onion for six-seven months. But many farmers have faced losses because shelf onion was damaged due to rains and moisture. Farmers store this onion so that they could get some price benefit when the prices go up. They were hoping to recover losses but the prices are dropping,” said Jaydutt Holkar, former chairman of Lasalgaon APMC.

Tomato, onion prices surged 38-71% in a month

The Department of Consumer Affairs maintains onion buffer under the Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF) with the objective of effective market intervention to moderate prices. In 2021-22, against the target of building 2 LMT onion buffer a total of 2.08 LMT was procured from the Rabi-2021 crop during April-July 2021. The Department of Consumer Affairs has been releasing onion from the buffer on First-in-First-Out (FIFO) principle from the last week of August 2021.

About 7,115 quintal summer onions arrived at Lasalgaon APMC on Wednesday. The average rate was ₹2,700 per quintal while the minimum rate was ₹900.