Onion prices fall as supplies arrive from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh & Karnataka
Onion prices fell Rs 5 to Rs 10 a kilogram in wholesale markets on Tuesday as fresh supplies arrived from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
In the retail market, prices fell Rs 2 to Rs 5 a kg, which led people to rush to buy. Mother Dairy’s Safal stores sold onions at Rs 38 a kg on Tuesday, while roadside vendors cut prices to Rs 50-80.
At Asia’s largest wholesale onion market at Lasalgaon in Maharashtra, average prices fell 15% to Rs 48.50 a kg on Tuesday from Rs 57 on Saturday. In Delhi, the bulb became cheaper by 8% at Rs 30-50 a kg. Prices fell Rs 10 at Pimpalgaon and Rs 8 in Pune and other wholesale markets.
Prices in other onion growing regions like Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh too fell with the arrival of the new crop.
In Delhi, Azadpur Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee member Rajendra Sharma said with increased arrivals and huge stocks of 2,400-2,600 tonnes in the mandi, prices crashed from Monday evening. “We expect onion prices to further fall as new crop harvest has started and arrivals in markets are increasing. Rates in the retail market will start decreasing, especially in weekly markets as they purchase onions on the same day,” he said.
On an average, the Azadpur mandi gets 1,000 tonnes a day.
The arrival of goodquality red-coloured Egyptian onion in Mumbai on Saturday helped pull prices down, though arrivals so far weren’t large enough to effect a major drop. “Mumbai received lesser onions on Tuesday, which kept the prices firm. The arrival of imported onion will be consistent now,” said Ajit Shah, president of the Onion Exporters Association of India.
In retail, players like Mother Dairy kept prices stable at Rs 38 a kg in the Delhi region. Street vendors brought their selling prices down by Rs 2-5 a kg at Rs 50-70. In Pune, onion in retail was selling for Rs 40-60 a kg, while in Patna it cost Rs 60 a kg. In Kolkata’s Gariahat markets, the price was Rs 80 a kg.
The government is hopeful that MMTC’s tender to import 10,000 tonnes of onions would further cool prices. The tender will be opened on Thursday, but traders and exporters sounded sceptical about the response.
Onions exporters said they were not likely to participate as they found it to be a risky business. “MMTC wants the delivery of the cargo within 15 days after opening of the tender, which will not be feasible. Other conditions like asking for letter of credit does not work in markets like Egypt, which are unorganised,” said an onion exporter from Maharashtra.
State-run MMTC was however confident of a strong response. “We are getting a very encouraging response by global companies and traders and you will have to wait for just one more day (for the outcome),” said an MMTC official in New Delhi.