Over 2,600 tonnes of onion from Egypt imported by private traders have already reached the Mumbai port and another 6,000 tonnes are expected to reach the port by September 9, top officials at the Vashi Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) said.
Some 8-10 quintals that had arrived at Vashi a couple of days ago were sold at Rs 17-18 per kg. Traders are reported to have contracted the deals for Rs 2,000-2,500 per quintal. The landing cost in Mumbai is reported to be around Rs 22 per kg in Mumbai.
The new lot of onions of 2,600 tonnes that reached the port has already been despatched and is expected to reach Vashi market anytime now, said Rajendra Shelke, president, Onion Potato Traders Association, Vashi.
The market, which reopened after a two day weekend gap on Monday, saw arrival of more than 212 trucks (one truck contains 10 tonnes) of onions.
According to Shelke, these onions will first be dried in storage, brought to Vashi and then taken to respective markets, mostly in the South. The arrival of onions will put a brake on prices, he said. The country had last imported onion in 2015 on both public and private account.
State-owned MMTC had then invited bids for import of 10,000 tonnes of onion from countries like Pakistan, Egypt, China and Afghanistan to boost domestic supply and check prices.
The government had then started importing onions as retail prices had shot up to Rs 80 per kg across the country due to shortage of about five lakh tonnes of the kitchen staple. At present, the consumer affairs ministry is closely monitoring onion prices, which are ruling high in the range of Rs 40-50 per kg in most retail markets depending on the quality.