The unseasonal showers have stopped, but the onion price has refused to come down.
Currently sold in the retail market for around Rs 40-45 per kg, traders say this scenario is likely to continue until March, said traders.
“The wholesale price of onions had shot up to Rs 45 a kg on December 5 because of sudden fall in supplies. Though the rate dropped to Rs 30-35 a kg on December 6, there is no possibility of further reduction in price,” said Ashok Walunj, director of the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) Onion Potato market.
“Heavy rains have destroyed the onion crop in Nashik and its surrounding areas. That is the main reason why they are so expensive,” explained Sunil Hande, a trader at the APMC Market.
Another trader Ashok Karpe added: “Expecting prices to fall fast won’t be possible as the demand and supply ratio has to normalise soon. The stock in Maharashtra has virtually ended. Now only stock from Gujarat and Karnataka can help the situation to some extent. However, even Vasna APMC in Gujarat from where most onions are supplied from, is facing shortage.”
This means that people will have to wait until March for the prices of onions to reduce.
Consumers are worried that they may have to restrict the use of onions, a commonly used item in most recipes.
Gita Madiwal, a resident of Kopar Khairane, said: “We are already facing problems with the current prices of essential commodities. Once the price of onions touches Rs 45 per kg, there is nothing we can do except cut down on consumption.”