Wholesale prices of onion at the Lasalgaon Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC ), the country’s largest wholesale market – have gone up between 15 per cent and 20 per cent in the last 10 days on account of lower market arrivals.
Modal prices of onions at Lasalgaon touched Rs 3,600 per quintal with minimum prices at Rs 1,400 per quintal and maximum prices at Rs 3,871 per quintal – the highest maximum price so far this season.
Market arrivals were in the range of 6,750 quintal. In the previous week, arrivals were around 8,400 quintal with average prices at Rs 3,001-3,200 per quintal. The situation is similar at the neighboring Pimpalgaon Baswant APMC with average prices at Rs 3,200 per quintal and arrivals at 6,723 quintal on Wednesday.
At the end of January, wholesale onion prices were in the range of Rs 2,800 per quintal. Retail prices have gone up from Rs 30-40 per kg to Rs 50-60 in some cities in the last 10 days.
Traders attribute the price rise to fall in supplies. “Arrivals of late kharif crop is almost exhausted. The unseasonal rains in January also damaged part of the crop and as a result, farmers ended up bringing all their onions at once, instead of bringing in staggered supplies,” said an onion trader.
The kharif (planted June-July and harvested after November-December) and late kharif (planted in August-October and harvested after December) are at present coming to the market, but traders and farmers complain of extensive crop damage due to rains. There has also been a fall in arrivals from South Indian markets and supplies from Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh are not enough.
Moreover, the government also opened up exports in January leading to a price rise of Rs 1,000 per quintal. Arrivals of new summer onions will commence from the first week of March which should lead to easing of supplies and also impact prices.