Garlic prices surge sharply as rain hits supply; onion bounces back


After onions, the prices of garlic have jumped sharply over the last one month on lower availability of last year’s crop ahead of the commencement of winter sowing which raises hopes for increase in acreage this year.

Data compiled by Nashik-based National Horticultural Research & Development Foundation (NHRDF) shows garlic prices have more than doubled in the last one month to trade currently at Rs 152.50 a kg in Kolkata wholesale mandi, Business Standard reports.

In Bangaluru and Chennai, garlic prices have jumped by 43 per cent and 54 per cent to trade at Rs 92.50 a kg and Rs 170 a kg, respectively.

Garlic in Rajgarh, one of the largest garlic trading mandi by arrivals, wholesale market is trading at Rs 80 a kg on Thursday which indicates 100 per cent increase from its price of Rs 40 a kg a month ago.

Very minimal quantity of last year’s low garlic output is left for sale this season. Its supply was reduced due to the unseasonal rainfalls in the last few weeks across the country. Since farmers are preparing to commence sowing for the ensuing winter season, there has been a huge demand for conventional sowing of garlic as seeds. Apart from that, the new crop arrivals are at least three months away. Since import opportunity is limited due to high prices in global markets, garlic prices in India have jumped significantly in the last one month. 

In retail markets, however, garlic prices have doubled to trade at Rs 200 a kg today as compared to Rs 100-120 a kg about a month ago.

Garlic is considered as medicinal herb which has cold-resistance capacity. Hence, its demand normally increases during winter season. Thus, stockists have started building their inventory ahead of peak winter demand.

Meanwhile, Onion prices have bounced back to trade currently at Rs 35 a kg (model) in the benchmark Lasalgaon mandi after falling to the level of Rs 20.50 a kg a week ago following government’s imposition of stock limit and export ban early this month. The unseasonal rainfalls in Karnataka have reduced onion supplies from Hubli, one of the largest producing centres of pre-season crop. Also, supply from Nashik district of Maharashtra has also declined significantly which pushed onion prices up. 

Shekhar Ghosh is a communications consultant and and former journalist, who has edited and written for publications such as like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today and Outlook.

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