Retail onion prices have touched Rs 80 per kg on Tuesday, while in metro cities, it is being sold at Rs 50-70 per kg depending on the quality and locality. The reason: India exhausted its bumper production by exporting in a large amount in the first four months of the fiscal. And the new 2017-18 Kharif crop — which is being harvested currently — is also expected to be less owing to fall in acreage.
At Azadpur mandi in the national capital, Asia’s largest vegetable market, onion prices are ruling at over Rs 50-60 per kg, and the same onion is being retailed at Rs 80 per kg. It may be noted that 40% of the country’s total onion crop is produced in the Kharif season, and the rest during the rabi season. The Kharif crop, however, cannot be stored. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Gujarat are major onion-producing states.
Wholesale and retail prices are ruling high because of lower arrivals from the key growing states such as Maharashtra, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, reported PTI. Taking stock of the situation, the government last week imposed a minimum export price (MEP) of $850 per tonne on onion to increase domestic supplies and check rising prices. Onion MEP was scrapped in December 2015.
Earlier this month, the government allowed state-owned agencies like MMTC to import onion from countries like Egypt and China to increase availability and cool retail prices that have skyrocketed to Rs 65-70 a kg level in many parts of the country. According to data maintained by the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCIS), the country has exported 12.29 lakh tonnes of onion during April-July of 2017-18, up 56% from 7.88 lakh tonnes in the year-ago period.