Onion prices continued to pinch household budget at Rs 40-60 per kg in the four metros, but are expected to ease after fresh arrival of crops from mid-January.
Onions, a key ingredient in Indian cuisine, are being sold at Rs 40-50 a kg in the retail markets of Delhi and Kolkata, while in Mumbai and Chennai it was being sold in the range of Rs 50-60 per kg, according to reports.
The wholesale rate at Delhi's Azadpur market, Asia's biggest wholesale market for fruits and vegetables, stood in the range of Rs 15-40 a kg, traders said.
At Lasalgaon in Nashik in Maharashtra, onion prices dropped to Rs 46 a kg from yesterday's Rs 50 per kg, but it rose at Pimpalgaon to Rs 43 from Rs 41. Maharashtra produced around five million tonnes of onion in 2009-10, out of the country's total production of 12 million tonnes.
Onion prices had more than doubled to Rs 70-85 per kg on December 19-20 across major cities from Rs 30-35 per kg early this month due to damage of crops in Maharashtra because of rains.
After the government's decision to ban exports and abolition of import duty, the prices have eased from the high level, but they are still quiet high.
A top consumer affairs ministry official had said that prices have started to come down and the situation would be normal after arrivals of fresh crops from mid-January.
Tomato and garlic too are ruling high in all the metros and are being sold at Rs 40-50 per kg and Rs 250-300 per kg, respectively.