Wholesale prices of onions at Lasalgaon, the country’s biggest wholesale marketplace for onions, dropped to Rs 2,000 per quintal. Onion prices were about Rs 4,000 per quintal just a week ago.
Wholesale prices of onion have crashed by almost 50 per cent in the most important market across the country, from Rs 4,000 per quintal to Rs 2,000 per quintal. This is primarily because of late arrival of kharif crop during the last 10 days. Farmers and traders expect the prices to drop down further with the arrival of the summer crop by the second week of March.
The regional crop has begun arriving in West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. This late kharif onion cannot be stored and has to be sold as soon as produced. Further, as the rabi onion start hitting the markets by mid-March wholesale prices on onion could drop to as low as Rs 1,500 per quintal.
Moreover, farmers this year may have increased the acreage of onions in different regions and hence the rabi crop arrivals may be much more than expected. At present, high domestic prices rule out exports from India, but the situation may change once the rabi crop arrives and prices fall further. Exports of onions are likely to pick up then.
Onion prices increased dramatically last month after unseasonal rains lashed areas in Maharashtra, affecting onion crops adversely. Prices in other onion growing regions like Gujarat also rose.