Rapid rise in onion Price: After jump in tomato price, now onion likely to cost more

Pune/Maharashtra, August 4: After a steep surge in the price of tomato, onion prices have also started rising quickly. The cost of one kilogram of onion was at an average price of Rs 23. But at Maharashtra’s Lasalgaon wholesale market on Thursday the onion price was Rs 12.70 Per kg on a day before the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cut its lending rate by 0.25% points to 6%.

The interesting  part is that according to the month Shravan in the Hindu calendar the onion consumption was supposed to be low. Despite the price in Lasalgaon recordings, about 22,000 quintals of onions had arrived on Thursday, which compares to the 13,000 quintals in a preceding couple of days. In fact,  the quoting the Delhi market at an average, only Rs 13.75 per kg is the price today, although the official arrivals there were is just 14,263 quintals.

Before February 2016, in Lasalgaon market, onions were selling at below average price of Rs 10 per kg, averaging as low as Rs 4.50 – 5.50 only this May and June. the countries largest market bulb was rs 5.70 per kilogram even as late as July 17. But on July 26 it crossed over at Rs 10 and has more than doubled since then.

Nanasaheb Patil, the Agriculture produce market committee at Lasalgaon, clarifies that “the quick price jump resulted the demand of supply factor to the traders. The demand for onion from North India will pick up once the Shravan month fest gets over after the Raksha Bandhan which is on august 7. Apart from this, the drought in Karnataka results in a situation where there will not be any immediate source of supply until September”.

During the Kharif season with sowing within June and August following by the rains. Karnataka produces around 2.7 million tonnes (mt), out of India’s total annual onion output of 20-21 mt, making it the third largest after Maharashtra (6.5 mt) and Madhya Pradesh (2.8 mt). This crop arrives first in Karnataka from mid-August and in Maharashtra after mid-September. Hoping that the Centre will not take any necessary step like export ban or imposing stockholding limits, as in 2014 & 2015, domestic price will automatically put a brake on exports.