The onion story, thus far

Updated: Oct 31 2005, 07:46am hrs
This multi-layered bulbous veggie has been the source of many a story and philosophical treatise. Elections have been lost and won on the swings in its price fortunes, its juice can make even the bravehearts cry and last fortnight its prices made the common man weep again. But try as they might, those in charge of kitchens cannot stay away from it for long and thus the humongous efforts of all the state governments to keep its prices under check. Lest they be caught unawares again! Heres a take on the situation so far in different states.

Karnataka asks co-ops to intervene
The Karnataka government has directed the Agricultural Produces Marketing Cooperatives (APMCs) and Agricultural Marketing Federation to resort to market intervention to bring stabilisation in prices of onion, which have crashed.

The state cabinet, at its meeting, was of the opinion that traders had knowingly cut down prices of this commodity when the Centre decided to import onions from Pakistan after prices had soared in northern parts.

Minister for information B Shivaram said that the state has witnessed bumper onion crop and would take steps to stabilise the prices.

He, however, did not indicate the minimum support price at which the AMPCs and the federation would purchase onion, saying it would be decided by the bodies.

Retailers maintain high prices in MP
Abundant supply of fresh stocks and marginal decline in prices in some parts of the country notwithstanding, wholesalers and retailers in Madhya Pradesh maintained high prices of the commodity, burning a hole in the consumers pockets.

The old stock was sold at around Rs 15 per kg at different places, while prices of fresh stock of onions ranged from Rs 9 to 11 per kg in wholesale markets, sources said.

Though the fresh stock slowly entered the retail markets in many places, retail operators continued to maintain artificial shortage and earned huge profits by varying their prices from Rs 16 to Rs 22 per kg in different localities, sources said.

However, prices are likely to come down considerably and stabilise within a week, market analysts feel.

Onion prices had sky-rocketed since last month due to the shortage mainly caused by bad crops in Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Prices reach normal level in Andhra
The arrival of large quantities of onions from several parts of the state brought the products price to normal levels on Saturday.

The wholesale market price of superior quality onion is Rs 700-1100 a quintal while others are being sold at Rs 500-700 a quintal.

At the retail market the price is in the range of Rs 7 to Rs 9, according to market sources.

Further decline in Nasik
Prices declined further in market yard here on Saturday following the arrival of fresh stock, Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) sources said.

At Nasik APMC, 865 quintal old onion stock arrived and was auctioned at Rs 550 to Rs 1,350 per quintal as against Rs 600 to Rs 1,400 per quintal on Friday.

Major APMC centre of Lasalgaon in the district remained closed on Saturday and will open after Diwali. In retail markets in the district, onion was being sold at Rs 15 to Rs 17 per kg.

Mumbai hopeful of dip in a week
Onion prices were expected to come down notably within a weeks time, market sources said on Saturday. New crop from Nasik is expected to come into the wholesale markets by November 7, Rajendra Kaskar, president of Kanda Batata Association, said.

The market on Saturday received around 70-80 trucks, which could rise to 100 or even 120 within a week, making the prices fall sharply, he said.Thus the situation in every state has been different this week.