This Diwali, onion prices are certainly going to bring tears to consumers' eyes. The festival of lights is just two weeks away, but the prices of onions are showing no signs ofc coming down.
On Monday, onions were sold for Rs. 90 with wholesalers claiming that the prices are unlikely to come down for another month. As demand usually far exceeds supply during the festive season, dealers said the price of onions was likely to cross the Rs. 100-mark during Diwali.
"Prices are likely to rise further in the coming days. Demand for onions has gone up manifold compared to last month. We are struggling to meet the demand because of the wedding season coming up. The supply is slow compared to the demand," said Anil Malhotra, member, Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC).
While wholesale prices ranged between R60 and R70, retail prices of onion across the city varied between Rs. 82 and Rs. 90.
Consumers are now in a quandary as onion prices have adversely hit catering expenses and the overall cost of food, with people complaining that they now have to pay much more than before.
"We wanted to organise a pre-Diwali party and asked our regular caterer to prepare the food. What we used to earlier pay R700 per plate for has now gone up to R780 per plate. That is a massive dent in our pockets. This is the cheapest deal available because everywhere caterers said prices have gone up because of the rise in price of onions," said Shanta Bansal, a resident of Laxmi Nagar.
Retailers said they were at a loss as they too had to shell out much more because of the rise in demand for onions.
"Our procurement prices are very high. If the wholesale price of onions is Rs. 60 per kilo, then we need to charge the consumers correspondingly to pay for what we spend. Also, this being the festive season, better quality onions get over within a few hours," said a retailer INA market.