Consumers should brace for 10-15% hike in onion prices over the fortnight, with arrivals reducing at the country’s largest onion market at Lasalgaon Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) in Nashik. Prices have also increased by 10-15 % owing to rise in demand as compared with supply. The average wholesale onion prices have touched Rs 1,450 per quintal as against Rs 1,250 per quintal last week, a rise of Rs 200 per quintal over the week.
The pace of arrivals has decreased from 22,025 quintals last week to around 12,500 quintals on Thursday. Nanasaheb Patil, chairman, Lasalgaon APMC attributed this price rise to 15-day adverse climatic conditions last month when unseasonal rains hit Nashik. “The adverse conditions have affected the early and late kharif crop and as a result the crop planted in this period has been affected. There could be shortage of onions in the market in the coming fortnight and arrivals will begin to pick up after this period,” he said.
The kharif onion season could last for a month or 1.5 months and rabi onion could begin arriving in markets next month onwards, he added.
Patil pointed out that the kharif crop could be getting exhausted in other states and therefore arrivals were also reducing. Since this is the red onion with more moisture content, farmers cannot store the crop and are forced the sell it, he added. The onion arriving in the market is kharif crop with shelf life of a month. Officials said average wholesale onion prices are expected in the range of Rs 1,400 to Rs 1,600 a quintal for the next few weeks. The summer crop ( red onion) has begun arriving in some markets such as Pune.
The average wholesale onion price at Lasalgaon APMC increased to Rs 1,450 a quintal on Thursday, against Rs 1,270 a quintal on January 28.
The minimum and maximum prices were recorded at Rs 700 and Rs 1,700 a quintal, respectively. Around 12,550 quintals were auctioned at Lasalgaon on Thursday.
RP Gupta, director, National Horticulture Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF) said a bumper rabi crop can be expected this year subject to weather conditions remaining good in March and April. According to the first estimate of the ministry of agriculture, rabi onion sowing in the current season till January 28 has been completed on 5.53 lakh hectares, which is 12.82% more compared to last year’s rabi onion area of 4.90 lakh hectares in major rabi onion growing states. The area and production of onion is estimated as 11.92 lakh hectares and 193.57 lakh MT, respectively, which is a little less in comparison with the previous year’s area and production i.e. 12.04 lakh hectares and 194.02 lakh MT.
Kharif crop harvesting is almost over in all kharif onion producing states and late kharif harvesting in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat started from mid January and would continue till mid March, the February onion report of NHRDF says.
Rabi onion transplanting is almost complete in parts of the country. The harvesting of rabi onion will start from mid March in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha and April onwards in states like Madhya Pradesh, UP, Haryana and Punjab. The crop condition of late kharif and rabi onions is at present good. Modal prices are ranging between Rs 1,100 and Rs 1,400 per quintal.
The major kharif onion producing states are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar and Tamil Nadu.
The area under kharif crop in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu was reported more compared to the previous year.