you have to sell at whatever price is prevailing in the market. You can't wait for prices to rise," said Ajit Shah, president of the onion exporters' association.
And even stopping exports won't help matters, because they have already shrunk to just a trickle.
"Our prices are too high. Buyers are switching to Pakistan and China," said a Mumbai-based exporter. Indian onions cost $900 per tonne whereas $570 will buy you a tonne from China.
Pawar stuck to basic supply-demand economics on Thursday to bring relief. "Supplies from the new season crop would start in two to three weeks and that would depress prices," he said.
He might be disappointed, though. Heavy rains are expected in the next few days in big onion-growing states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka - and that could be disastrous, Holkar said, disrupting harvesting and damaging the crop.
"Right now, imports or restrictions on exports cannot change the demand-supply equation. Dry weather for two to three weeks can increase supplies and bring down prices," said Shah.