Onions that have landed in Mumbai from Egypt – with a view to help lower the rates of the essential vegetable that had touched the Rs 80 a kg mark last week – bring no relief. According to traders, the imports are too little to have an impact.
Besides, they said, these are not the kind of onions consumed by households.
“Ten tonnes of Egyptian onions arrived in the market on Wednesday. Of this, 2.5 tonnes are not good enough to be sold,” said Chandrakant Bange, a wholesale trader at the APMC market in Vashi. “The onions are also too big. Just around three of them weigh a kilo. These are not used in households, only in restaurants and canteens.” Bange, however, added the Egyptian onions were selling at a cheaper rate of Rs 40-50 a kg.
Hindustan Times had reported last week that the import would have little impact.
Another trader, Ashok Karpe, said, “Business is very bad for Indian onions. While farmers, who have suffered huge losses, are not ready to sell at a cheaper rate, retailers are not buying much as media reports said prices will come down because of imports.”
Karpe said only if 25-30 containers arrive on a daily basis, carrying 100-200 tonnes of onions, will there be a respite in prices. “Otherwise, it will continue to hover at around Rs 50-60 a kg in the wholesale market.”
Consumers continue to make do without onions or cut down on the amount they buy. “We have had to cut down on our consumption as onions have become too expensive. One cannot avoid it though. The household budget has once again gone for a toss,” said Bhagyashree M, a Vashi resident.