Excess supply, poor quality, and drop in export over the past two weeks have caused onion prices to drop in both wholesale and retail markets.
The vegetable, which was selling for Rs 800 for 100kg in the wholesale Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) market last week, is now selling for Rs 550-Rs 600 per 100kg. In the retail market, prices have fallen to Rs 9 to Rs14 per kg, from Rs 12 to Rs 18 per kg last week.
“Farmers have started clearing their stock, fearing it will rot, and are selling it in the market. Against an average of 60-70 vehicles a day, 125-140 vehicles of onions are brought to the market now,’ said Ashok Karpe, a trader at APMC.
The unpredictable rain has also hit quality of crops, he said: “When the crop was growing, there was not enough water in the fields, now there is heavy rain. This has damaged the crop.” The poor quality, in turn, has affected exports. “Since the past 12 days, there has not been much export. On the other hand, supply is abundant,” he said.
Sunil Chowdhary, secretary of the Onion-Potato market said that farmers were quickly selling their stock as it was beginning to rot. The drop in prices, combined with the poor quality of produce, has hit retailers. “The quality of onions coming to the market is poor and buyers are upset. We are suffering losses,” said Chhotu Gupta, a vendor.