Wholesale onion prices were down to Rs 1,550 per quintal at Lasalgaon-the country's largest wholesale market for the bulb on new arrivals in the market from other states including Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Wholesale onion prices were down to Rs 1,550 per quintal at Lasalgaon-the country’s largest wholesale market for the bulb on new arrivals in the market from other states including Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Last week, onion prices at Lasalgaon were hovering at Rs 1,850 per quintal. However, this week on Wednesday, arrivals at Lasalgaon dropped to 5,000 quintals with modal prices touching Rs 1,550 per quintal. While the maximum price stood at Rs 2,001 per quintal, minimum price was Rs 500 per quintal. On Tuesday and Wednesday, prices were in the same range.
Jaydutt Holkar, chairman, Lasalgaon Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) alleged that prices were being manipulated by some traders and were pushed up. Looking at the high prices, new arrivals from Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh started coming to Maharashtra and this has led to a drop in prices, he said.
According to him, Pakistan has exported new onion to Dubai in large numbers and this has reduced the demand for Indian onion. Onions from Pakistan are cheaper than India, Manoj Jain, trader from Lasalgaon pointed out, adding that sudden drop in demand had resulted in prices going down.
He alleged that last week an attempt was made by a few traders to create a shortage effect and this had resulted in high prices and as a result more onions started coming from Hubli, Belgaum and Benguluru causing prices to come down. During last two days, arrivals have drastically reduced to barely 5,000 quintals to 3,000 quintals with both farmers and traders holding onto stocks. There has been market speculation that the government may announced Minimum Export Price (MEP) on exports and this is also one of the reasons why all are holding onto stocks.
Officials pointed out that the new red onions arrived in markets on Dassera and prices for these had touched Rs 5,000 per quintal. These prices were artificially pumped up by some traders, officials said. After Dassera there was a huge rise in onion demand and therefore prices went up by Rs 300 to Rs 400 per quintal. Jain said no announcements have been made with regard to (MEP) yet.
Prices should remain steady if arrivals remain steady, he said. Jain however also cautioned that the Kharif onion planted at Niphad, Yeola, Sinnar and Manmad had dried up in the absence of rains. Holkar revealed that some 25 lakh to 30 lakh quintals of summer onion supplies were still available. However, there has been a 30-35% reduction due to the heat and these were stored from April onwards. The onion stock currently in the markets is stored rabi crop, grown and harvested by farmers between December and March.