Onion prices in the wholesale and retail markets, which had shot up in January, have now stabilised.
With poor production, bad weather and diversion of stock to other states, the price of onions had increased from Rs. 14 per kg in the wholesale market in mid-January, to Rs. 20-23 for a kg by January 31. Retail market prices also increased from Rs. 20 to Rs. 30 per kg.
On Monday, onion prices in the wholesale market reduced slightly to Rs. 18-20 a kg. The retail price in Vashi was Rs. 30 a kg. However, retailers said prices could increase in the days ahead.
“Farmers are worried that exports may be banned, so they want to clear all their stocks. Hence, they are sending their remaining stock to the market,” said Ashok Karpe, a wholesaler at the Agriculture produce market committee market.
Pradeep Gupta, a retailer, said, “Onion prices have not increased in the past few days, but are likely to increase soon. There is very little chance of the prices decreasing.”
Prices fall in Nashik
Onion prices fell drastically by Rs. 500 to Rs. 600 per quintal in Nashik markets. However, with less rakes on Allahabad railway route, due to the Kumbha Mela, a shortage is likely up North. Farmers and market experts said Delhi CM Sheila Dixit statements have scared the market.
Market experts said that traders were unwilling to buy onion fearing a ban on exports while traders claimed that there were no rakes available to transport the onions, so there was no point in stocking up. Railway sources in Lasalgaon however stated there was no shortage of goods trains to transport the onions.
Onion prices hovered around an average of Rs. 1,600 per quintal in the 15 Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMC) in Nashik District today.
The major market is Lasalgaon in Niphad taluka with two other sub markets - Niphad and Pimpalgaon Baswant.
In Lasalgaon APMC the highest rate offered was Rs. 1,821 per quintal and lowest of Rs. 1,100 per quintal.
Onion prices in Nashik fluctuate annually. Simply put, excess production lowers the rates and lower production increases it.
(With inputs from Aftab Khan)