Onion is now more expensive than some exotic vegetables in Mumbai and Pune as retail price soared to Rs 100 per kg, corresponding to rates at Nashik district’s Lasalgaon wholesale market.
Nashik cultivates 60 percent of Maharashtra’s onions and the Lasalgaon agriculture produce market committee (APMC) is the largest wholesale onion market in India.
Retail rate on October 21 was Rs 80-100/kg in Mumbai and Rs 100-120/kg in Pune, Vilas Bhujbal, a commission agent at the Pune APMC told The Times of India. He cited shortage in supply as the reason for the price hike.
According to Bhujbal, Pune’s Market Yard received only half their usual supply with only 40-50 trucks on October 21, and prices are expected to keep rising as new crop will take time to arrive.
Officials at Lasalgaon APMC said supply fell 70 percent in two months – from 22,000 quintals/day in August to 7,000 quintals/day the past week (October). This is likely to continue for another three weeks and wholesale prices will hover around Rs 5,500-7,000 per quintal “for a few days”, they added. Prices in Nashik’s retail markets itself is at Rs 80/kg.
Heavy rainfall has affected onion supply, said Lasalgaon APMC chairperson Suvarna Jagtap.
According to estimates by the Maharashtra State Onion Growers' Association (MSOGA), 50 percent of kharif and late kharif onion crops were damaged by heavy rains.
In the meantime, hope is being placed in import stock levelling prices as 70 containers with 2,000 tonne onions have arrived at Mumbai’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) on October 21, said the Horticulture Produce Exporters’ Association (HPEA).