After tomatoes, onion prices are now going up. With monsoon playing havoc in Gujarat and Rajasthan, onion prices have climbed up across the country on good demand.
After tomatoes, onion prices are now going up. With monsoon playing havoc in Gujarat and Rajasthan, onion prices have climbed up across the country on good demand. On Friday, model prices of onions at Lasalgaon — the country’s largest wholesale market for the bulb touched Rs 1,250 per quintal on Friday while prices were Rs 1,000 per quintal on Thursday and Rs 911 per quintal on Wednesday. Last week as well, model price of onion in Lasalgaon mandi almost doubled to Rs 870 per quintal, from its earlier low of Rs 450 per quintal. According to Jaydutt Holkar, chairman, Lasalgaon Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC), prices have almost doubled because of good demand from other states. Exports have not been very high in the last few days but with the festive season approaching, demand has gone up. Agreeing with Holkar, Lasalgaon Onion Merchants Association president Nandkumar Daga pointed out that the flood situation in Gujarat and Rajasthan have shifted demand for onions onto Maharashtra. Prices have spurted because of demand from the north and neighbouring states, he said.
Industry sources pointed out that there is a demand pressure on Maharashtra from across the country. Regular demand from Delhi and other regions is likely to continue with the festive season coming up. Onion prices are rising and may continue to be high till November when the next crop arrives, market officials said.
The rates have increased by Rs 200 per quintal due to rains as farmers can’t offload their stored crop and bring it to the APMC yard, officials said. Only farmers in need of cash are currently bringing the onion to the market, they added. The onion currently sold in the markets is the ‘unhal’ (summer) variety, which was harvested about six months ago and stored in onion chawls. While the stocks depleting due to dampness and also loss in weight, it fetches a premium price.The wholesale onion prices are further expected to increase by another 20% in the next couple of weeks. This rise is likely to have an impact on the onion prices in the retail market, traders said.
Supply has been erratic at times although Holkar said that arrivals have been steady at around 20,000-25,000 quintals on a daily basis. On Monday, onion arrivals were around 12,000 quintals at Lasalgaon and rose to 29,035 quintals on Tuesday to drop down to 8,000 quintals on Friday. According to traders, there has been a sharp increase in demand by stockists in both domestic and overseas markets. Holkar pointed out that this time last year, farmers were seeking a grant from the government because of losses suffered by them during the strike called by the APMCs.
The Maharashtra government had announced the grant for the farmers who sold their produce in the Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMC) from July 1 to August 31, 2016. Normally, every season, the buffer stock of onion is generally created during the April-May period every year. However, the central government refrained from creating a buffer stock for onion this season due to a bumper production. There has been a bumper crop this year and even after record exports of around 30 lakh tonne, onion rates remained on the lower side for the last couple of months to climb up last week, Holkar said. Moreover, lower storage by large stockists across the country contributed to the decline in supplies further.