Forty-five trucks loaded with onions arrived in Amritsar from Pakistan through the Attari-Wagah border check-post on Friday, an importer said. So far, 177 truckloads of onions have reached India since Tuesday to check spiralling prices of the vegetable in the country. Each truck carries around 10-12 tonnes of onions.
"Today around 45 trucks, carrying 450 to 500 tones of onions, reached here from Pakistan. We are getting onions at Rs 300-350 a quintal and supplying them equally in the mandis (vegetable markets) of Punjab and New Delhi," Rajdeep Uppal, an importer, said.
"However, increased demand from Indian traders has also escalated the onion prices in Pakistani mandis. Tomorrow, no truck will come from Pakistan on the account of Christmas holiday and day after tomorrow is Sunday. So we can expect another consignment of onions only on Monday," he added.
There was a decline in onion imports on Thursday.
"Yesterday (Thursday) only 34 trucks, carrying 340 tonnes of onions, arrived in India. This was comparatively less than Wednesday when 60 trucks had reached here," another Amritsar-based importer, Mahinder Singh, said.
"There are few factors that led to this decline in imports. There was dense fog in Pakistan that disrupted the road traffic. Pakistan is also getting orders from Gulf countries, so prices have also gone up in their markets," Mahinder Singh added.
With retail onion prices touching Rs 100 a kg in some parts of the country earlier in the week, Indian traders are buying it from Pakistan at Rs 300-350 a quintal.
Most of the onions coming to India are from Pakistan's Sindh province. However, traders say the quality of the Pakistani onions is not as good as that produced in India.
In Punjab's capital Chandigarh, around 40 tonnes onions reached from Rajasthan and Gujarat on Thursday evening. However, Chandigarh had not accepted onions coming from Pakistan and sent them to other places on Thursday.
"The Pakistani onions were of poor quality. They were wet and unripe. Therefore, we sent two trucks of onions to Himachal Pradesh," said Balbir Singh, chairman of the Chandigarh wholesalers association.