iconimg Friday, September 04, 2015

G Moinuddin Jeddy, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, September 17, 2013
After a brief respite from skyrocketing prices, wholesale prices of onions are back to their mid-August levels of Rs. 55-62 a kg from the earlier Rs. 35-45 a kg, at the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) in Vashi. In the retail market, too, onion prices have risen to Rs. 70 a kg.

Traders said that a fall in supply was responsible for this sudden surge in prices.

“Mumbai needs around 10,000 quintal of onions every day. However, only 5,000 to 6,000 quintals are arriving at the market. It is because of this shortfall that prices have increased drastically,” said Ashok Walunj, director, APMC.

Walunj added that the situation was not expected to change for a month.

“Only after the new crop arrives will prices come down,” he said.

Even the arrival of onions from Egypt has not helped matters.

Following the arrival of Saturday’s consignment of 150 bags with 25 kgs of onions each, 300 more bags reached APMC on Monday. However, despite being cheaper than Indian onions, the price of the Egyptian ones escalated from Rs42-48 a kg on Saturday to Rs50-52 a kg on Monday.

Traders said a total of 4,400 bags of 100 tonnes each have arrived at Jawaharlal JNPT port in four containers. This stock is expected to arrive at the market during the week.

In mid-August, Hindustan Times had reported that traders had predicted a surge in prices after a temporary drop.

Wholesaler Ashok Karpe said, “Media reports and pressure from the government had led to the temporary fall in onion prices. But as stock was running out, prices were bound to rise.”

In the retail markets, too, prices of onions had increased in early August, touching Rs. 80 a kg.

Although this fell to Rs. 60 a kg by the end of the month, prices have risen again.