Lasalgaon onion prices firm upon demand from other states and monsoon woes

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Average wholesale prices of onion in the country’s wholesale market at Lasalgaon have gone up to Rs 1,600 per quintal owing to high demand from other states. Arrivals this week touched around 22,000 quintals and minimum prices were Rs 700 per quintal while maximum prices were Rs 1,760 per quintal.

Market committee officials said that arrivals have increased on high demand from other states which have been hit by heavy rains and monsoons.

The red onion coming from Karnataka has been damaged due to the floods and rains have affected crops in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan as well. Since onion from Maharashtra is of high quality, there is good demand for that, an official said. In Bengaluru, onion prices have jumped 17 % and 25 % to trade at Rs 13.50 a kg and Rs 25 a kg, respectively.

Last week, the supply of onions had dropped due to rainfall and farmers were also busy in kharif planting. Those farmers who required funds for kharif sowing sold their stored onions last month and sought a minimum support price of Rs 2000 per quintal.

Commodities such as onion, primarily supplied from Nashik district of Maharashtra, recorded a uniform increase in price across the country because of disruptions in transportation last week.

Currently, onions arriving at the Agriculture Produce Market Committee are summer onions, harvested in March and April. These onions have a shelf life of five-six months and farmers prefer storing it with a hope of getting better price. The summer onions, stored by farmers, cater to the market until arrival of fresh kharif onions by mid-October.

The Centre has already created an onion buffer stock of 55,700 tonnes in a bid to stabilise prices in case of scarcity during August-September period.

In March, the Centre had directed the National Agricultural Co-operative Marketing Federation of India (Nafed) to procure 50,000 tonne onions. The procurement cost is estimated at Rs 67.84 crore, excluding the charges for hiring storage facilities. Nafed has procured around 22,200 tonne onion from APMCs at Lasalgaon, Pimpalgaon, Kalwan, etc, while 25,000 tonne has been procured in Pune, Ahmednagar, Solapur and Osmanabad districts.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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