The average wholesale price of onions, in Maharashtra, has seen a leap of 118 pct in the past two weeks.
The average wholesale price of onions, in Maharashtra, has seen a leap of 118 pct in the past two weeks. The per quintal rate of onions have risen to Rs. 1,250 on Thursday from Rs. 571 on July 13, as reported by Times of India. The price of Rs. 1,250 per quintal is the highest rate in last 18 months. To stabilise this rise in prices of onions, the Central government may increase its minimum export price (MEP). In December 2015, the government withdrew the $700 per tonne MEP to overcome the crash in the wholesale prices of onions, reports TOI. There has been no MEP set by the government for last 19 months. Quoting a government source, TOI reported, “The Centre is keeping a close watch on onion prices in wholesale markets.”
Top 5 points you should know about this onion price surge:
1. The price hike has been observed from Rs 870 per quintal last week to Rs. 911 per quintal on Wednesday and then to Rs. 1,000 per quintal on Thursday and on Friday, the prices rose to a whopping amount of Rs. 1,250 per quintal at the Lasalgaon market that is the largest wholesale market in the country. Prior to this hike, the prices of onions have been as low as Rs. 450 per quintal.
2. The government is planning on increasing the maximum export price (MEP) to stabilise this hike. Indian wholesale market will see an MEP after 19 months as there has been no MEP set by the government in last 19 months.
3. The country may continue facing this hike in the prices of onions till November this year and the prices are likely to keep going up. With the festive season approaching, the demand from other regions may continue to pressure Maharashtra government. The wholesale prices of onions, as predicted, may increase by another 20% in the next few weeks.
4. The onions that are presently being sold in the markets are the summer variety onions. This ‘unhal’ variety was harvested and stored in onion chawls about six months ago.
5. Usually, every year, the buffer stock of onions is created in the month of April or May. However, this year, the government refrained from creating a buffer stock due to the bumper production of onions this season. The farmers faced a bumper production this year and even after exporting 30 lakh tonnes of onions, as reported, the rates were low for the last few months only to boom from last few days. Large stockists in the country maintained a low stock level this year which further contributed to the decline in the supplies of onions, increasing its prices in the market.