Onion prices at Lasalgaon, the country’s biggest wholesale market for the vegetable, touched R54 per kg, the highest so far this season. Barely 2,400 quintals of onion arrived in the market and officials say arrivals could reduce further in the coming days owing to tight supply.
Market prices are expected to worsen in the near term and consumers should be bracing for further price rise, officials at the Lasalgaon APMC warned.
Arrivals have reduced drastically as farmers have little stock left with them, says Nanasaheb Patil, chairman, Lasalgaon APMC. Stocks coming from South were expected to ease the supply situation. However, the supplies were just 50% and did not meet the needs of consumers,” he said.
“The next 15 days could be crucial for both farmers and consumers since there have been no rains in Nashik, one of the largest onion growing belts in the country. The crop that has been sown has already dried and if the kharif output of the country is hit, then we are in hard times,” Patil said.
According to Patil, two containers of onion from Egypt that had arrived a couple of weeks ago were sent back from the Mumbai port because of inferior quality. Onions from Pakistan have also been affected by rain, he said.
According to RP Gupta, director, NHRDF, the decline in stocks has led to a hike in prices. “The kharif season has been delayed in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra and scanty rains have affected production leading to drought-like condition. In Madhya Pradesh, there have been heavy rains damaging nurseries resulting in reducing the overall area of porduction,” he said.