December 7, 2010 6:22:42 am
Even as normal supplies of onion have resumed after the unseasonal rains stopped,prices of onion in the local markets have not gone down.
The prices of onion shot to Rs 45 kg on Sunday in the retail market owing to fall in supplies. On Monday,though it came down to Rs 30-35,wholesale traders say there was no possibility of further easing out of prices. Before the rains,onion prices hovered in the range of Rs 15-Rs 20.
Traders at the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) at Vasna say the prices shot up after heavy rains inundated onion fields in Nasik and surrounding areas,the countrys biggest onion-producing belt. They say just when the crop was ready for harvesting,rains played a havoc and damaged it badly.
About 10 to 50 per cent onion received from Nasik are spoilt. We have to remove and dump them before we sell them to retailers, said Munnabhai Malek,a leading wholesale onion dealer at the Vasna APMC market.
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He said since wholesale dealers were also charged for the spoilt onions,it raised the overall cost for them after they removed the damaged portions from the stock. Hence,prices pushed up when the onions finally reached the retail market,Malek added.
Malek and another wholesale dealer Ramesh Patel said there was no shortage of onions in the market though. The wholesale rate at present,they said,was from Rs 300 to Rs 500 per 20 kg depending on the quality. However,there was no possibility of a further rise in prices if there was no change in weather conditions like rains,they said.
They said the onion crop was also damaged in Bhavnagar/Mahuva belt in the state. However,this is not the onion harvesting time in Gujarat.
Elsewhere,potato prices,have eased to some extent after the arrival of new crop from Punjab,which is available for Rs 130 to Rs 170 per 20 kg in the wholesale market.
Before the new arrivals,potato prices ranged between Rs 200 and 230 per 20 kg.
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