Onion prices breached Rs 100 per kg mark in Pune retail markets Monday amid an unabated spike in bulb prices across the state. Traders have warned that the present price trend was likely to continue till December end when both imported and domestic onions hit the market.
Since September, bulb prices have been on the rise following a sharp decline in sowing due to the ongoing drought in the main-onion growing districts of Nashik, Pune, Ahmednagar, etc. The crisis peaked in the last few weeks as the expected arrival of the new Kharif crop, which was slated to hit the markets from October onwards, suffered heavy losses due to the unseasonal rainfall in the last two weeks of October.
In its October report, the Ministry of Agriculture had referred to standing crop losses in Madhya Pradesh (58 per cent), Karnataka (18 per cent) and Andhra Pradesh (2 per cent). Maharashtra, too, suffered losses due to the unseasonal rainfall.
On Monday, the average traded price of onion in Pune’s Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) was around Rs 9,000-10,000 per quintal. The spike in the wholesale market was reflected in the retail markets with most organised retailers selling the bulb at Rs 120-150 per kg.
Last week, bulb price stood at Rs 75-80 per kg in the city. Onion price had breached the Rs 100 per kg mark in Pune around five years ago, traders said.
Meanwhile, at Lasalgaon’s wholesale market in Niphad taluka of Nashik district average traded price of onion touched all-time high of Rs 7,100 per quintal on the day. In neighbouring Kalvan market, the bulb traded at Rs 9,500 per quintal. The trend was more or less similar across Nashik, with onion trading around Rs 7,000-9,000 per quintal. Jaydutt Holkar, chairman of Lasalgaon’s wholesale market said the present trend is mostly due to the dip in arrivals. “As against the 30,000-40,000 quintals of daily arrival in December, the Lasalgaon’s market is reporting just around 10,000-15,000 quintals per day,” he said.
At Vashi’s wholesale market, in Navi Mumbai, around 10,000 quintals of onion had arrived on Monday with wholesale prices hovering around Rs 100 per kg. Rajendra Shelke, commission agent at the market, said, “The current trend will continue till the new crop arrives later in January.”
To quell the onion prices, the central government has recently allowed for imports, especially from Turkey and Egypt.
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