Onion prices, which have been soaring for sometime now, hit the roof on Monday at the wholesale APMC market in Navi Mumbai. Traders say a hike like this one has not been seen in years, and the unseasonal rains in onion growing states will only push up prices.
The scenario is no different elsewhere in the country, leading the government to suspend onion exports till January 15 to try and control prices.
According to Sunil Chaudhary, secretary of Onion Potato Union, APMC, said, “Today, there was a jump of Rs 10 in onion prices, bringing it to Rs 60 per kg. This price has broken records of the past 7-8 years. Retail prices are higher.”
Ashok Karpe, another wholesaler at the Vashi market, said, “The regular-sized onions are Rs 50-60 per kg, the medium-sized ones are available for Rs20-25 per kg and the small onions are priced at Rs14-20 per kg.”
He added, “A week ago we stopped getting supply from Karnataka because of the rains. Onions that were not affected are too expensive to transport. Right now we are importing onions only from Nashik.”
Traders say the stock from Nashik will not last long. Karpe said, “Onion prices will keep rising until the next batch of onions is ready, which will probably be in April or March.”
Kailash Pawar, a Nashik farmer, said, “It is getting beyond our means to grow onions. I have not even been able to get back the capital. The losses are huge.”
Riya Shukla, a consumer said, “The prices are too high. Since we can’t stop buying onions, we will just have to eat less.”