Onion price up after fall in arrivals from Maharashtra

Onion prices suddenly soared from Rs 30 last week to almost Rs 50 to Rs 55 per kg at the Koyambedu wholesale market.
Onion price up after fall in arrivals from Maharashtra

Chennai

While this sudden spurt in price is being attributed to shortage in supply appeared like a repeat of the situation two years ago when onion prices hit a similar high. However, the prices of other vegetables have registered a significant decrease.

P Sukumaran, Secretary, Koyambedu wholesale market, said, “The price was stable at Rs 30 for the past few weeks and was expected to come down by October. Unexpectedly, the price has increased due to the shortage in arrival of loads. Now, we are receiving a mere 20 truck loads of onions per day against the usual supply of 40 trucks loads.”

“The market gets its supply from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, which is the major supplier. Owing to the heavy rains, loads from Maharashtra has dwindled to a mere 10 per cent,” he added.

Wholesale traders say that the city depends for onions primarily on Maharashtra where it is produced throughout the year. In Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, onion is only a seasonal crop.

“We have started receiving onions from Karnataka. But the supply is erratic, and the quality is poor because of rains. Maharashtra has been supplying up to 10 per cent of its stock. Owing to poor harvest and rains, the city is getting only a limited supply from the western state,” said Sriram, a wholesale onion trader at Koyambedu market.

However, traders express confidence that the price would come down to at least Rs 30 to 35 per kg in the next 10 days when fresh stocks arrive from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. By that time, Maharashtra should also be able to resume its usual supply, traders added.

Around 10 days back the prices of onion rose alarmingly in several north Indian states. Officials in an effort to tide over the situation decided to import onion from countries like Pakistan, Egypt, China and Afghanistan and floated tenders.

“Interestingly, prices of several other vegetables remain unchanged.” said Sukumaran.

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