Less lachrymose: Bumper crop may help cool onion prices by month end

Written by Sandip Das | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 17 2013, 11:17am hrs
Consumers hit hard by a spike in retail onion prices over the last two months are expected to get relief by the end of this month.

Widespread rains in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are set to boost onions kharif production and expected to bring down prices sharply during the next one month.

According to IMD data, while Vidarbha and Madhya Maharastra have received 40% and 17% excess monsoon rainfall, respectively, Telangana and Rayalseema regions of Andhra Pradesh have got 28% and 21% more rainfall than normal. Similarly in Karnataka, the main growing regions have received excess rainfall ranging from 13% to 37% above normal.

An agriculture ministry official told FE that crops from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have started to arrive in mandis and supplies from the biggest onion producer, Maharashtra, will commence from the middle of October.

We will see a sharp fall in onion prices as there are expectations of a bumper kharif crop, an agriculture ministry official said.

Meanwhile with the arrival of produce from Andhra Pradesh, wholesale onion prices at Nasik, the hub of the country's onion trade, have fallen to R4,500 per quintal against R5,500 per quintal reported about two weeks back.

Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are expected to produce around 4 million tonne (mt) this year while the country's total annual output is estimated at 16.6 mt in 2013-14.