During the onion export ban for the last 10 days, aimed at preventing a shortage of onions because of a delayed Kharif harvest, there were expectations from dealers here that more onions would arrive in the local markets. However, arrival and prices have remained steady.
At the Pune Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) the wholesale prices of onion were Rs 6-Rs14 per kilogram on Sunday, more or less the same, Rs 6.5-Rs 13, as on September 7, a day before the ban was imposed.
Following the hike in onion prices in the last week of August, due to untimely rain resulting in a dip in onion arrival in the markets, retail price have remained stable with onion currently being sold at about Rs 15-Rs 20 per kilogram in retail outlets.
The arrival of onion in Pune APMC have not fluctuated after the export ban was imposed by the Central government to rein in prices of onion from skyrocketing, as it had in November last year.
Onion auctions, in most prominent agricultural markets in the vicinity of the city, remained closed for over eight days including markets in Nashik and Ahmednagar districts.
“We thought as onion auction in these markets has stopped, a few markets including Pune which are open would receive onion from these areas and bring down prices, but that hasn’t happened. All onion that we received is from Pune district and some part of Ahmednagar, which is our usual catchment area. If onion from neighboring districts would have arrived, prices would have gone down,” said Pune APMC administrator Shailesh Kotmire.
Agricultural experts say the wrong time of the ban resulted in it having little effect on prices.
Vilas Shet Bhujbal, former President of Pune AMPC, said, “At this time of the year, onion that comes into the markets is stored for more than 4 months. Only about ten per cent of the onion is exportable as storage deteriorates most produce. So the ban did not divert a good quantity to local markets.”
Experts believe the prices may go down once harvesting for Kharif crop starts and fresh onion starts coming in.